Motion for a resolution - B7-0141/2014Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Syria

4.2.2014 - (2014/2547(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Ruža Tomašić, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Adam Bielan on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0141/2014

Procedure : 2014/2531(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Syria


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on Syria,

–       having regard to the previous Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Syria, most recently those of 18 November 2013 and 20 January 2014,

–       having regard to the previous statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Syria,

–       having regard to the previous UN General Assembly resolutions on Syria,

–       having regard to the UN Security Council resolution of 27 September 2013 on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons (S/RES/2118-(2013)),

–       having regard to its resolutions of 12 September 2013 on the situation in Syria[1]and of 9 October 2013 on EU and Member State measures to tackle the flow of refugees as a result of the conflict in Syria[2],

–       having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–       having regard to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto,

–       having regard to the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed in Geneva on 17 June 1925,

–       having regard to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, signed in London, Moscow and Washington on 10 April 1972,

–       having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol thereto on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to all of which Syria is a party,

–       having regard to the reports of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, most recently that of 11 September 2013,

–       having regard to the Joint Communication of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission of 25 May 2011 entitled ‘A new Response to a Changing Neighbourhood’,

–       having regard to the final communiqué issued by the Action Group for Syria, dated 30 June 2012, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Geneva communiqué’,

–       having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the unrest and bloodshed in Syria is now in its third year, with no apparent immediate prospect of an end to the fighting;

B.     whereas civil unrest and the Syrian authorities’ brutal repression of the Syrian people, including the reported use of chemical weapons, have dragged the country into a state of civil war, which in turn risks creating a wider regional conflict;

C.     whereas more than 110 000 Syrians have been killed since the fighting began;

D.     whereas in 2013 more than 1 200 Christians were killed in Syria; whereas the Christian population in Syria is estimated to be around 1.3 million;

E.     whereas the total number of registered Syrian refugees is now put at more than two million, with around nine million Syrians displaced;

F.     whereas President Assad has repeatedly ignored countless calls by the international community to put an end to the horrific violence in Syria;

G.     whereas violence, including the use of heavy artillery and shelling against populated areas, and horrific killings by the Syrian army and security forces and the Shabiha, as well as by various opposition forces, has continued to escalate;

H.     whereas there have been several massacres and mass-targeted (point-blank) killings of men, women and children;

I.      whereas the use of torture, mass arrests and widespread destruction of populated areas has dramatically escalated over the past months;

J.      whereas thousands of Syrians are fleeing the fighting on a daily basis to neighbouring countries in search of safety and protection, only to remain vulnerable in refugee camps;

K.     whereas the countries most dramatically impacted by the conflict and the refugee outflow are Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey;

L.     whereas numerous independent reports confirm the deployment of chemical weapons on 21 August 2013 in the Eastern Ghouta attack;

M.    whereas the use of chemical weapons is a war crime that is proscribed under the Geneva Protocol and the Statute of the International Criminal Court;

N.     whereas, although Syria is one of a handful of countries which have yet to sign the UN’s Chemical Weapons Convention, it can be argued that the convention’s provisions apply nevertheless under customary international law;

O.     whereas representatives of the Syrian Government and members of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces agreed to participate in international peace talks convened by the United Nations peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, held in Montreux and Geneva from 22 to 28 January 2014; whereas a further round of peace talks proposed by Mr Brahimi is due to begin on 10 February 2014;

1.      Deplores the violence, intimidation and torture perpetrated against men, women and children by those engaged in the internal conflict in Syria;

2.      Condemns in the strongest possible terms the mass killing of civilians with chemical weapons on 21 August 2013, and welcomes the international efforts to destroy the stockpile of chemical weapons amassed by the Syrian regime; urges all sides to work together to ensure the swift and complete removal of all chemical weapons from Syria;

3.      Welcomes the Geneva II conference and the commitment shown by members of the Syrian opposition to the principles contained in the Geneva communiqué; underlines the need for progress when the peace talks resume, and in particular for the international community and all actors involved in the Syrian conflict to work towards securing a political solution to the fighting in Syria based upon those principles; further encourages the international community to engage in concrete planning for a post-Assad democratic transition in Syria;

4.      Recognises the urgent need to focus international and regional efforts in order to solve the Syrian crisis; continues to urge all members of the UN Security Council to honour their responsibilities with regard to the crisis; urges all countries active in promoting a solution to the crisis to support these efforts;

5.      Expresses its grave concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the implications for the neighbouring countries; is concerned, furthermore, at the fact that the exodus of refugees from Syria continues to accelerate; calls for agreements to be reached guaranteeing immediate and full humanitarian access and exit from areas under siege, without fear of future reprisals;

6.      Regrets the worsening situation for Syria’s many minorities, including the Christian community in the country, and strongly condemns the high number of killings of Christians in Syria;

7.      Commends the response of the governments of neighbouring countries, in particular Turkey and Lebanon, in providing humanitarian support to Syrian refugees; acknowledges that providing this support has put additional pressure on existing services and budgets in those countries; calls on the international community to support the countries thus affected;

8.      Notes that President Assad, as the constitutional and legal head of the Syrian state, bears ultimate responsibility for all actions carried out by the armed forces in Syria; urges President Assad to recognise the rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and to step aside in the best interests of his country and the unity of its people;

9.      Calls for all in Syria to subscribe to the principles of human rights and democracy and to engage with the international community in bringing the conflict to a peaceful conclusion;

10.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, the Government and Parliament of the Syrian Arab Republic, and the governments and parliaments of Syria’s neighbour countries.