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Syria: relieve civilian suffering now or face tragedy across the whole region

Plenary Session Press release - External relations14-03-2013 - 11:38

The solution to Syria's tragic conflict must be a political one, said MEPs in debate with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday. As the humanitarian crisis created by this conflict now threatens the whole region, the EU must help Syria's neighbours to cope with refugees, they stressed. Many MEPs called on Ms Ashton to see that EU aid does not go only to those Syrians who are loyal to the regime.

Conditions in the refugee camps are becoming critical, which makes them a recruiting ground for violent extremists, MEPs said. The EU must urgently step up its assistance to Syria's neighbours of Syria who have so far taken in more than one million refugees.

The EU must also do more to ensure that its assistance goes to parts of Syrian territory controlled by the opposition forces, as well as those controlled by those loyal to the regime, they added.

MEPs reiterated that those who commit human rights violations or rape, or misuse children in fighting, whatever side they belong to, must be brought to justice.

They also said that beyond urgent humanitarian action, the EU must be ready to pave the way for an inclusive and non-sectarian Syrian democracy after Assad.

REF. : 20130312IPR06455
Updated: ( 14-03-2013 - 12:51)