Today the European Parliament discusses the EU's Syria Strategy with High Representative Mogherini. Commenting ahead of the parliamentary debate Marietje Schaake, Member of European Parliament D66/ALDE) said: “Seven years into the most bloody war in recent history, the EU presented its Syria strategy. We have called for one for years, I suppose later is better than never."
Schaake continues: “The urgency of a negotiated solution to the war was underlined by the gruelling discovery of a crematorium next to one of Syria's most notorious prison yesterday by the US government. Europe promised 'never again' after the holocaust. Today's slaughter of innocent people in Syria is the loudest reminder and test of our commitment. Today we are failing.”
Schaake: “The EU must double down and leverage its role as the largest humanitarian donor to demand and play a constructive role in the transition and future of Syria. The alternative: being the financial broker of the destruction of Syria and its people at the hands of Assad, Putin's Russia and Iran is absolutely unacceptable.”
Accountability essential for peace
Those who commit atrocity crimes must be held to account. Schaake: “With Russia blocking a referral of Syria to the international criminal court, EU Member States should look for other ways to hold those responsible for the heinous acts that continue to be committed in Syria to account. For example by ensuring that the human rights violations are punishable under their national laws. Alternatively any country can bring the Syrian state before the International Court of Justice for grave violations of the Genocide or Torture Conventions.”
You can follow the debate live here. Schaake previously warned High-Representative Mogherini in a published letter to not jumpstart a reconstruction programme without a consensus-based political settlement.