The international community strategy in Syria is not paying, warned political group representatives on Wednesday. In a debate with Ireland's European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton, representing EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, they urged the EU to act. In any event, Bashar el-Assad must go, they insisted.
After two years of conflict, the EU and international community strategy is not paying and the fate of the Syrians, 2.5 million of whom are displaced within the country, is worsening every day, MEPs stressed. They reiterated that no solution that allows Bashar al-Assad to remain in power is acceptable, but noted that atrocities were being committed by both parties to the conflict.
"EU citizens do not expect us to respond only to the humanitarian situation. The EU must be able to put an end to the tragedy of the Syrian people", insisted José Ignacio Salafranca (EPP, ES).
"We started from the hypothesis that time would work in our favour. This is not so sure.", said Véronique de Keyser (S&D, BE).
"On top of the human disaster, winter has arrived and the humanitarian crisis may become a real weapon of war in the hands of Assad", warned Marietje Schaake (ALDE, NL).
A video of the debate is available at the link to the right.