Delegation of the European Union to Syria

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EU foreign affairs ministers, gathered today in Luxembourg for a Foreign Affairs Council, have condemned Turkey's military action in north east Syria. "We have a common united European Union position … on the developments in the north-east of Syria … there is a clear condemnation from the European Union’s side of Turkey’s military action", said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press conference following the Council.

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The Council recalls the 9 October 2019 Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union and urges Turkey again to cease its unilateral military action in North East Syria and to withdraw its forces.

In light of the Turkish military operation in north-east Syria, the EU reaffirms that a sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict cannot be achieved militarily. The EU calls upon Turkey to cease the unilateral military action.

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The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe firmly oppose the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment contrary to the right to life. The death penalty means revenge, not justice, and its abolition contributes to the enhancement of human dignity.

The EU welcomes the announcement made by the UN Secretary-General on 23 September of agreement on the formation of a constitutional committee. The EU has consistently affirmed that any sustainable solution to the conflict requires a genuine political transition as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and the 2012 Geneva Communiqué negotiated by the Syrian parties within the UN-led Geneva process.

An EU hosted event on the Syria crisis is the first meeting on Syria following the UN announcement of an agreement on the formation of a Constitutional Committee. A political solution under UN auspices is the goal the EU always supported also with the three Brussels Conferences, bringing together donors, civil society and international community.

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We have heard a clear message from the representatives of Syrian civil society: make sure that as you focus on political processes, do not forget the people. This is our duty to constantly keep in mind the hundreds of thousands of people that have been killed, those displaced, the destruction that has been brought to a wonderful country and its beautiful land, and also the divisions in society that have been created or deepened. This will take many years to remedy.

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Dear friends, colleagues,

Thank you all for being here. Let me welcome not just the Ministers and representatives of Syria’s neighbouring countries and some further away, but also, and especially, the Syrian civil society representatives who have joined us today.

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