Syria, Turkey, Kunduz bombing and Libya: MEPs call for greater EU engagement
The EU must do more to spur stability and security in Libya, MEPs said on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they demanded a full and independent investigation into the airstrikes against the hospital in Kunduz, called for more EU diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian conflict and warned against compromising human rights in cooperating with Turkey over the refugee crisis.
Syria – more EU diplomatic efforts needed
While most of the MEPs taking part in the debate were critical of Russia's direct military involvement in Syria and many stressed that Bashar al-Assad could not be part of the solution, an overwhelming majority stressed that a military solution could not in itself resolve the underlying causes of the conflict. Many said the EU must urgently play a bigger role in finding a diplomatic solution by bringing the US and Russia closer together, as well as working for a rapprochement between Iran, Saudi Arabia and other regional players, to avoid any further escalation of the conflict.
Turkey – cooperate on Syria and refugees but respect human rights
The refugee and Syrian crises cannot be solved without close cooperation between the EU and Turkey, many MEPs said on Wednesday. While supporting an increase in EU support for Turkey in dealing with the mass of refugees, they called on Turkey to stop violations of human and fundamental rights, including attacks on press freedoms and the Kurdish minority. Ahead of the general election in November, MEPs also said a spirit of compromise must emerge among Turkish political leaders. MEPs were divided over the appropriateness of opening new negotiating chapters with Turkey in the current climate.
Kunduz hospital bombing – call for independent investigation
MEPs across the board expressed their deepest condolences to the families of those killed and injured in the US-lead airstrike against the Kunduz hospital on 3 October and paid tribute to Médecins Sans Frontières. They also called for a far-reaching and independent investigation and stressed that those responsible must be brought to justice, to avoid any such tragedy happening again. Many MEPs also warned of the recent Taliban advances in different Afghan regions and called for increased EU and international support to the Afghan authorities.
Libya – government of national unity needed now
The agreement between the different factions in Libya brokered by the UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon is a "last chance" and it must be implemented urgently, many MEPs said in the debate with Commissioner Stylianides on Tuesday night. All three parties must now assume their responsibilities and form a government of national unity in order to end the suffering of the Libyan people, spur regional security and stability and combat the trafficking in migrants, said MEPs. They also called on the EU to boost its support for Libya.
Procedure: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Statement