Plenary speech and resolution on the situation in Syria

Marietje
Marietje Schaake (ALDE) - Mr President, we must welcome the opportunity to explore a UN-supported deal to end the use of chemical weapons by Assad, yet many major problems remain: a humanitarian disaster, the growth of terrorist and extremist militia, regional fragility and the risk of spillover and the malfunctioning of the UN Security Council to uphold agreed principles. We cannot allow Assad to see meeting demands on chemical weapons as a licence to kill by other means. That has been the status quo for the past two and a half years. The war is not over and Syria has become the bloody theatre of major geopolitical power play. Let us not be naive. The EU ought to play a more prominent and strategic role, a leading role, by acting as a global player. We can do more to end death and to defend the universal values the EU stands for. We cannot allow Russia and the United States to act over our heads while the EU is fragmented, weak, risks losing relevance and is incapable because we lack our own military capacity. High Representative Ashton, I would like to ask you: what role for the EU in going forward? What are your plans on diplomacy? Are you intending to talk about Syria with Iran? What can we do to avoid regional spillovers, specifically in Lebanon, for example by adding more troops to the UN mandate there? What pressure can we apply? How can we uphold the responsibility to protect and reform the UN Security Council? These are some ideas in which the EU can take a much stronger lead. [embed]/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/JMR-Syria.pdf[/embed]