Motion for a resolution - B8-0146/2018Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Syria

12.3.2018 - (2018/2626(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 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, David McAllister, Sandra Kalniete, Lorenzo Cesa, Julia Pitera, Tokia Saïfi, Laima Liucija Andrikienė on behalf of the EPP Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0139/2018

Procedure : 2018/2626(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 Joint Communication of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council of 14 March 2017 entitled ‘Elements for an EU Strategy for Syria’ (JOIN(2017)0011) and to the Council conclusions on Syria of 3 April 2017, which together make up the new EU strategy on Syria,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 3 October 2017 by Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on the recent attacks in Syria,

–  having regard to the statement of 20 February 2018 by VP/HR Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Stylianides on the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, Syria,

–  having regard to the Declaration of 23 February 2018 by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on Syria: The massacre in Eastern Ghouta must stop now,

–  having regard to the statement of 6 March 2018 by VP/HR Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Stylianides on the situation in Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere in Syria,

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Syria of 26 February 2018,

–  having regard to the statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Syria of 24 February 2018,

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolutions 2254 (2015) of 18 December 2015 and 2401 (2018) of 24 February 2018,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council Resolution of 5 March 2018 on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Eastern Ghouta, in the Syrian Arab Republic,

–  having regard to the reports of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas over 13 million people, including six million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance; whereas more than 400 000 people have lost their lives and over one million have been injured; whereas around 6.1 million people have been internally displaced and over five million have been forced to take refuge in neighbouring countries;

B.  whereas nearly 400 000 people in Eastern Ghouta have been subjected to airstrikes, shelling and bombardment; whereas, as a result of the siege of the area by Syrian Government forces, residents of this area are living under extreme conditions, including malnutrition;

C.  whereas aid workers have been unable to deliver humanitarian assistance to many parts of Syria due to continued fighting along shifting front lines, bureaucratic hurdles and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law;

D.  whereas on 24 February 2018 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2401, in which the Council demanded that all parties to the conflict cease hostilities without delay for at least 30 consecutive days to enable the safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded, in accordance with applicable international law; whereas civilians in Eastern Ghouta have reported that airstrikes and shelling are continuing;

E.  whereas for half a decade the people of Eastern Ghouta have been under siege; whereas they have suffered airstrikes, shelling and, on several occasions, civilians have reportedly died after toxic agents were released;

F.  whereas on 5 March 2018 a UN aid convoy was allowed to enter Douma, with the intention of delivering health and food supplies to 27 500 people in need; whereas the Syrian regime removed critical medical items from the convoy;

G.  whereas on 26 February 2018 the Council added the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Information of the Government of Syria to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime in view of the gravity of the situation in the country;

H.  whereas the EU and its Member States have mobilised more than EUR 10.4 billion for humanitarian, stabilisation and resilience assistance to Syrians inside the country and in neighbouring countries;

1.  Strongly condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and the continued systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Syria by all parties to the conflict;

2.  Condemns in the strongest terms the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons against civilians and the reported use of chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta; notes that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission in Syria is continuing its investigations into allegations of chemical weapons use, despite the fact that the Syrian authorities are restricting access;

3.  Welcomes the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2401 (2018); deplores the fact that almost no progress has been made on the ground to implement this resolution; calls for its full and immediate implementation by all parties to the conflict, in particular, to ensure the immediate, safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance, the evacuation of the critically ill and wounded, and the alleviation of the suffering of the Syrian people;

4.  Stresses that the starvation of civilians, used as a method of warfare by laying siege to populated areas, and the forced displacement of populations may be tantamount to war crimes or crimes against humanity;

5.  Reiterates its call for those guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity to be held accountable and face the consequences; stresses that the perpetrators of crimes against religious, ethnic and other groups and minorities should also be brought to justice; remains convinced that there can be neither effective conflict resolution nor sustainable peace in Syria without accountability for the crimes committed;

6.  Demands respect by all for the right of ethnic and religious groups and minorities in Syria, including Christians, to continue to live in their historical and traditional homelands in dignity, equality and safety, and to fully and freely practise their religion and beliefs without being subjected to any kind of coercion, violence or discrimination; supports interreligious dialogue in order to promote mutual understanding and counter fundamentalism;

7.  Remains committed to the unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Syria; insists that an inclusive and Syrian-led political transition process which will lead to free and fair elections, facilitated and monitored by the UN and held on the basis of a new constitution, is the only way to pacify the country; reiterates to all parties that a nationwide inclusive ceasefire and peaceful mutually acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis can be achieved under UN auspices and, with the support of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and key international and regional actors;

8.  Demands that all parties facilitate safe and unimpeded passage for medical and humanitarian personnel, and their equipment, transport and supplies, including surgical items, to all people in need, consistent with international humanitarian law;

9.  Supports the call for humanitarian mine action to be accelerated as a matter of urgency throughout Syria;

10.  Reaffirms its support for the efforts of the Global Coalition against Daesh; underlines that the Coalition and Syrian partner forces have made significant progress in the campaign to defeat Daesh in Syria; stresses that 3.2 million people have been liberated from Daesh in Syria;

11.  Welcomes the second Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, which will take place in Brussels from 24 to 25 April 2018, focusing on humanitarian support for Syrians, both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, and support for the UN‑led process in Geneva;

12.  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 EU Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and all the parties involved in the conflict.


Last updated: 13 March 2018
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