Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

Federica Mogherini underscores need for progress on Syria crisis

21/09/2016 - 15:35

High Representative Federica Mogherini on Tuesday continued to exert political pressure for progress on the crisis in Syria, in the wake of the air strikes against a UN/Syrian Red Crescent humanitarian aid convoy near Aleppo.

Mogherini focused on the ongoing Syrian crisis during an intense day of meetings and contacts in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“As members of the International Syria Support Group, the EU calls on the co-chairs, and on all other regional and international actors that are part of the ISSG, to respect and implement the truce and to exert their influence on all parties to the conflict to do the same, committing to a political transition in Syria in accordance with the UNSC resolution 2254,” Mogherini said in a joint statement with Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, after attending a ISSG meeting in New York.

“To this end, the EU is intensifying its work in these days within the ISSG, with the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, and through its contacts with Syrian parties and regional actors.”

The EU is calling on all parties to the conflict to respect fully the cessation of hostilities, and demands that the Syrian government allow immediate and unhindered resumption of humanitarian access to all besieged areas and in particular to the people of Aleppo.

The situation in Syria was at the core of the agenda also of the G7 Foreign Ministers informal meeting that took place yesterday evening in New York.

In a series of bilateral meetings in New York, Mogherini underlined the EU’s concerns about the situation on the ground and evidence of a clear escalation of hostilities. She stressed the importance of last week’s US-Russian ceasefire agreement and that progress was crucial towards a political transition. In the meantime, the EU will continue to play its key role as leading international donor of assistance to the Syrian people and those neighbouring countries affected by the crisis.

She reiterated the need for all parties to rebuild sufficient trust for the political discussions on transition to resume, and warned that the risks of fragmentation of Syria have never been higher.

The EU is willing to start considering how to reconstruct the country, but only once there is a stable enough environment for this to become feasible. There can be no reconstruction support until there is a political transition under way, she said.