This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

MEP: EU should take the lead in new diplomatic initiative Syria

MEP Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) wants EU High Representative Mogherini to develop a diplomatic initiative to end the war in Syria. Yesterday evening, it became clear that the talks in Moscow ended with no concrete results. Only parts of the Syrian opposition agreed to the negotiations with representatives of Syrian President Assad. The main Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), shunned the talks. "Russia is not a credible partner when it comes to Syria. The Kremlin blocks UN Security Council resolutions, supports Assad and sells the regime weapons. The Moscow-hosted talks did not have a real chance to succeed. In order to continue to aim for an end to the violence, that is entering into its fifth year, it is now the EU's role to get all the parties talking," states Schaake. Talks in Moscow The Americans have stated their support for the Moscow negotiations, whereas previously they dismissed Russian initiatives as unconvincing. Schaake: "The US are not as firm anymore in demanding the exit of Assad. The battle against IS has diverted attention and changed interests. The Syrian people, of whom hundreds of thousands have been killed, over 3,7 million have fled and 7,5 million have been displaced, are paying too high a price. The war has to end. That is also needed in order to face up to the historic humanitarian crisis in the Middle East." The EU announced yesterday that an additional 136 million Euros will be designated to Syrian refugees. In total the EU and its Member States have mobilised more than 3 billion Euros for humanitarian assistance to Syrians.