“Enough of violence, enough of war - Syrians want peace and Syrians want to reconstruct their country in democracy and in freedom. And I think that today what we are doing is even more relevant, is even more important, is even more urgent,” Mogherini said before the conference, which she is hosting and co-chairing. “The images we have seen yesterday from Syria remind us all that here we have a responsibility to unite for real with a serious engagement the international community, the regional players, but also the Syrian parties to make peace.”
She said she hoped the conference would see billions of euros re-pledged and committed to help Syrians and the wider region, including Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
She also called for a strong push for the political talks in Geneva: “We will have the UN Secretary General [António Guterres] opening the conference with me today, we will have Staffan de Mistura [UN Special Envoy for Syria] – we have to unite the international community behind these negotiations and give them a serious push. Because only the Syrian parties can agree a political solution – can put an end to this war.”
“Third, we can start preparing the post-conflict. I know it sounds surreal, especially today, but if you want peace, you have to start building peace and the conditions for peace. And we will also look at the conditions under which the international community can contribute to reconstruct the country.”
The High Representative welcomed Guterres to the conference, saying: “The European Union is a strong - possibly the strongest - supporter of the UN system and the presence of the Secretary General here in Brussels today is for us a very clear sign and commitment in partnership and working together, especially in these hours, especially in these days, when you see where the forces for good, being it on humanitarian, or being on political solutions are … It is not a happy day for the international community, but it is a day when the multilateral approach is more needed than ever.”