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Mercoledì 13 marzo 2013 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

14. Siria, con specifico riferimento alla situazione umanitaria (discussione)
Video degli interventi
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  El Presidente. − El punto siguiente en el orden del día es el debate a partir de la Declaración de la Vicepresidenta de la Comisión y Alta Representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad sobre Siria, con especial referencia a la situación humanitaria.

Se nos ha señalado que la señora Ashton tiene imperativamente que dejarnos a las siete en punto y, como creo que a todos ustedes les interesa escuchar el cierre del debate por parte de la Alta Representante, les pido encarecidamente que se ajusten al tiempo que tienen. Y a la señora Ashton también le pido que, en su presentación, procure ahorrar segundos para que podamos terminar el debate como es debido.

 
  
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  Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, thank you for your understanding. I go to Pristina this evening.

Can I begin by saying I learned with great sadness of the tragic death yesterday of Ahmad Shihadeh, a policy officer of the EU delegation in Syria. He was killed during a rocket attack on the Damascus suburb of Deraa, where he lived. Ahmad died while providing humanitarian help to the community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and his colleagues in the delegation.

We know that the situation in Syria is appalling, that Bashar al-Assad should leave power, that the fighting should stop and that the country – according to some reports 70% destroyed – needs to be rebuilt.

This situation reflects in part the inability of the international community to find a coherent, united way to respond to the horror that is being perpetrated and to act collectively to protect the people. Without a Security Council mandate or a clear situation on the ground, military action by the international community is not under consideration.

I want to be clear too that on the occasions this year when I have put the arms embargo on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council – with all options to be discussed – no Member State has proposed that it be lifted to arm the opposition. All Member States have wanted to make sure that support is available for the people, and for the opposition, in the form of non-lethal equipment and technical assistance. This I reflected in my meeting with General Idris a few days ago, when I invited him to let me know urgently what assistance we could supply.

So we work in the situation we find ourselves in, with all its constraints. This is a messy and complicated situation on the ground. Not everyone involved in the fighting shares our values or our vision for the future of Syria. As Lakhdar Brahimi said when he came at my invitation to the Foreign Affairs Council this week, there is no easy solution; if there were, we would have found it by now. We have to work for a political solution that will lead to a lasting peace.

We should support all those who are actively trying to find that solution: Mr Brahimi and Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib in particular. And we should continue to talk with Russia and China especially, but also with all the members of the Security Council, as well as others across the region and indeed the world, in order to try to find a way through.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, who has done a fantastic job as the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, has been very clear: from a humanitarian perspective, too, there are no military fixes. Humanitarian corridors, buffer zones and other ideas of the same kind are not viable solutions. As Commissioner Georgieva put it so clearly in a meeting with Members of the European Parliament – with a map of the conflict in her hands – where are we going to place a corridor or a buffer zone? How would we protect it and the humanitarian workers, in the absence of a Security Council resolution?

Our priority must be to help innocent civilians. As Commissioner Georgieva has explained to all of us, our chances of success greatly depend on our ability to maintain the neutrality of our humanitarian aid.

However, I issue a strong appeal to the Syrian authorities to allow more international humanitarian relief workers into the country to ensure that aid reaches all affected areas, and I reiterate my plea for all sides to respect international humanitarian law.

The brutal violence used by Bashar al-Assad and his regime – leaving 70 000 dead, a million fleeing from Syria and three million people displaced internally – cannot be justified under any circumstances.

We are constantly trying to adapt to the situation on the ground. Every single financial instrument available to the EU and its Member States has been engaged in our joint efforts to assist Syrians inside and outside the country, to provide assistance to refugees and their host countries, to support human rights activists in raising their cases, to support students to continue their studies and to help people simply to survive.

However, we have to be more effective and innovative, and we have expanded our help to the Syrian Opposition Coalition and its Assistance Coordination Unit as well as the Free Syrian Army. Syrians – wherever they are – must not feel abandoned by the international community. We are looking into the best way of channelling our assistance across the lines of fire and taking measures on the ground to reach those who need support, although we must also make sure our support reaches the right people and does not fall into the hands of extremists.

So far, we have provided EUR 100 million of non-humanitarian support. It is not yet enough, but we are determined to do as much as we possibly can. We are also leading the international donor coordination efforts and are preparing the ground for joint assessment activities for the important work to come once this conflict is over.

Both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, we are the biggest donor in this crisis. I have already paid tribute, and I do so again, to the work of Kristalina Georgieva. Following the Kuwait conference on 30 January, the total of our humanitarian assistance will reach EUR 600 million. EUR 436 million is already committed: EUR 200 million from the EU budget, the rest from Member States.

I want to thank this House for helping in mobilising the funds from the Emergence Aid Reserve. The last tranche became available in December, but I have to tell honourable Members that we know that more is going to be needed.

That assistance provides shelter, support, emergency health care, water and sanitation, implemented by the Red Cross, by UN organisations and by the High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as NGOs. We are also mobilising in-kind assistance from EU Member States for refugees, using the EU civil protection mechanism – in April of this year for Turkey and in September for Jordan.

It is not easy. We want to reach more people in need. Together with our partners, we try to deliver assistance to all areas of Syria, including those that are fiercely disputed. Yet access is challenging – often impossible – and far too many innocent civilians are beyond the reach of our humanitarian agencies and workers. We have to find all the possible channels for delivering this assistance.

We know too that the constant stream of refugees puts an unsustainable burden on the socio-economic and, in some cases, political stability of the neighbours of Syria. One illustration: eight per cent of Lebanon’s inhabitants are refugees, and in Jordan the figure is six per cent. The situation is becoming critical. Like you, I have been to visit the camps and have seen the terrible situation there.

We cannot rule out that the conflict will drag on. We have to be prepared for a direct impact on the European Union too. Similarly, we have to prepare our ‘day after’ planning, and that means continuing to ensure that we are able to bring about, even now, a minimum of normalcy, with a governing authority ensuring order wherever possible, and with basic services being supplied.

Success, of course, depends on the willingness of all members of the international community to rally behind a political solution. We have to keep up the momentum, we have to avoid initiatives starting to disappear, and we have to support efforts to explore willingness on both sides to engage in the first steps of any approach.

We know from our recent contacts with Mr Brahimi, when he came to the Foreign Affairs Council, and from meetings with Sheikh al-Khatib that they are serious but they are cautious. Yet we agree that a political solution is necessary. In this spirit, we will continue to act with the clear intention of showing Assad that the EU is mobilising all efforts to oppose what is happening.

What is most important is to keep the momentum of al-Khatib’s initiative by creating space for dialogue, to work closely with Russia, with Arab partners, with our contacts in Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – in short, to explore all options of engagement that can lead to some form of political dialogue further down the road. As Lakhdar Brahimi said to me and our Ministers a few days ago, the ‘Assad must go’ slogan is not a substitute for a political process, and a process is what we need if we are going to get out of this current impasse.

 
  
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  José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, en nombre del Grupo PPE. – Señor Presidente, señora Alta Representante y Vicepresidenta de la Comisión, Señorías, quisiera que mis primeras palabras fuesen para expresar mi reconocimiento a la persona que ha muerto en la oficina de la Comisión Europea en Damasco. Hoy, que el egoísmo se erige casi como valor o —diría— como contravalor máximo, creo que este Parlamento y la Unión Europea tienen que prestar tributo de admiración, de reconocimiento y de respeto por todos aquellos que entregan su vida por defender los valores que inspiran a la Unión Europea.

Créame, señor Presidente, que me pesa volver a participar en un debate sobre la situación en Siria. La Alta Representante ha explicado bien cuál es la situación: 70 000 muertos, tres millones de desplazados en el interior del país, un millón de desplazados en los países vecinos y el 70 % del país destruido; y la comunidad internacional bloqueada por el veto chino y el ruso en el Consejo de Seguridad.

El otro día, el Grupo ALDE invitó al Comandante en Jefe de las fuerzas de oposición siria, quien dijo que, si dispusieran de los medios necesarios, podrían resolver la crisis y el problema en un mes. Mientras tanto, el Consejo de Ministros se ha reunido con el Enviado Especial Conjunto de las Naciones Unidas y de la Liga de los Estados Árabes y no ha adoptado ninguna conclusión.

Creo, señor Presidente, que hay una serie de preguntas que se imponen: ¿cuáles serían los términos de ese posible acuerdo político? ¿Qué pasa con el derecho y la responsabilidad de proteger? ¿Qué significan los «non-lethal equipments and technical assistance», señora Ashton? ¿Vamos a tener que seguir esperando a que los Estados Unidos nos saquen las castañas del fuego?

Creo realmente que estamos en una situación muy embarazosa, muy complicada. Usted nos ha dicho que dos Estados miembros que habían hablado de un levantamiento parcial del embargo no han planteado esta cuestión en el Consejo de Ministros. Señor Presidente, estamos verdaderamente en una situación dramática y lamentable, y creo que el mayor error que se puede cometer en estas circunstancias, cuando hay vidas humanas en juego, es precisamente el miedo a no cometer un error.

 
  
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  Véronique De Keyser, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, personnellement, je ne pense pas que ce soit ne rien faire que de se lancer dans une bataille humanitaire qui, aujourd'hui, dépasse tout ce qu'on a connu auparavant. Et je pense que cette bataille humanitaire est difficile, mais qu'elle est urgente et qu'elle tue parfois presque autant que la guerre.

On l'a dit, il y a un million de réfugiés à ce jour et ce chiffre augmente encore tous les jours. La situation déstabilise tous les pays de la région. Elle déstabilise le Liban. Elle déstabilise la Jordanie. Il faut saluer les efforts de la Turquie dans cette opération d'accueil. C'est presque du jamais vu, mais, hélas, la courbe est ascendante.

En même temps, un rapport des responsables de l'Unicef nous dit que, si la communauté internationale ne remplit pas ses engagements financiers nécessaires à cette aide humanitaire, ils seront en cessation de paiement dès le mois de mars et ils ne sauront plus fournir d'aide humanitaire. Et on entend Médecins sans frontières, on voit Mme Georgieva, nous dire qu'il y a à la fois des difficultés financières et des difficultés d'accès. Qu'on ne me dise pas que cette bataille-là ne vaut pas la peine d'être livrée. Je pense qu'aujourd'hui, avec le nombre qu'elle met en jeu de vies humaines, de femmes qui accouchent dans des camps, d'enfants qui sont aujourd'hui dépourvus de vaccination, de tout, ce n'est tout de même pas rester impuissant que de s'attaquer à cela.

Alors, maintenant, comme vous l'avez dit, la solution ne peut être que politique. Peut-on se servir d'un armement pour dire "ça va faire pression pour une négociation politique". Personnellement, je n'y crois pas. Je crois à une solution politique, mais j'ai l'impression – connaissant un peu la région – que la fourniture d'un surplus d'armement à un camp rebelle extrêmement hétérogène, que je respecte, et qui se bat de manière remarquable, que l'octroi d'un excès d'armement, dans cette guerre asymétrique, ne va pas faire moins de morts, mais plus, et qu'il faut mettre surtout l'accent sur le côté politique.

L'impuissance politique que nous ressentons aujourd'hui, je la ressens, vous la ressentez sans doute, mais elle ne trouvera pas de solution dans un surcroît d'armes. Ceux qui, dans l'opinion publique, et ils sont nombreux, veulent aider aujourd'hui les révolutionnaires syriens de la première heure, doivent faire attention avant de choisir leur camp.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, Baroness Ashton, we are now two years on from the start of the revolution and we are now at a death toll of 70 000, and we continue to see – and to say – that we need a political solution. Well, we have been working for such a solution for two years and the outcome is 70 000 dead in Syria and 70 000 new refugees every day.

In one of the refugee camps in the north, there are more than 10 000 children. They have nothing at all: they have gone for weeks without milk, for days without food; there are hardly any toilets and there is no heating. In these camps, where there are currently more than one million refugees, children die every day – and what we are doing?

Yes, we give money. Of course, we send aid. But almost none of that money or that aid is going to these people. No: our aid is going to the areas held by the regime because that, Mr President, is the way that the UN and the Red Cross work – through governments, through regimes, through Assad. That is why almost all our money is currently going only to the people loyal to Assad. It is not going to Aleppo, nor to Idlib, nor to Homs. Even worse, a few weeks ago three convoys were sent for the first time to the north of Syria bringing the wrong goods to the wrong places.

We have to understand that this is a humanitarian disaster. Our search for a political solution, as you describe it, has seen not only 70 000 killings, but also the development of a humanitarian disaster, and we rapidly need to change our way of seeing the problems in Syria.

First of all, Baroness Ashton, you know that General Idris, whom you have received, has asked for weapons. His argumentation is very clear: the embargo is currently working against the victims of Assad, not in favour of them. Fortunately, we are now seeing a change in a number of countries. Britain is now to send armoured vehicles; the Americans have promised armoured vehicles and what they call ‘non-lethal’ weapons. In my opinion, this is the first step towards ending the embargo – an embargo which, I repeat, is only working against the victims.

Then we have to do something on the issue of aid. We must try to ensure that this aid is given directly to the liberated areas. We should know that most of northern Syria has been liberated and is under the control of the Free Syrian Army, so it is not so difficult to do. Most of the camps lie right at the border with Turkey, so we need to stop thinking that we first require the approval of the Assad regime in Syria before we can act. There is now also – as has been confirmed to you by General Idris – a network organised by the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army to distribute aid to the people who really need it. So the task is not so difficult. Do not tell me, Baroness Ashton, that it is difficult! Such words are for bureaucrats, but we are both politicians, and we need to find solutions. I hope that in the coming weeks you can bring about a dramatic change, at least on the humanitarian aid front.

 
  
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  Hélène Flautre, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, je crois que Mme Ashton parlait aujourd'hui de neutralité de l'humanitaire et elle ajoutait cette phrase: "J'espère que le droit humanitaire sera respecté par toutes les parties." C'est vraiment ce qu'on appelle "se payer de mots".

Le principe de neutralité est en train d'être pulvérisé par la partialité de la délivrance de notre aide humanitaire sur le terrain – je ne reviens pas là-dessus. Vous avez, quand même, entendu l'histoire des camions qui arrivent à l'aéroport de Damas et envoient toute l'aide humanitaire dans les zones qui sont contrôlées par le régime? J'espère qu'on vous raconte des choses comme cela. Par conséquent, arrêtons un peu de parler de neutralité et essayons d'apporter, réellement, une aide impartiale, ce qui est très loin d'être le cas.

Vous dites que toutes les parties pourraient respecter le droit humanitaire alors que vous avez en face de vous un régime dirigé par Assad. Il tire sur les hôpitaux comme si c'étaient des cibles militaires. Il tue les médecins comme si c'étaient des combattants. Il envoie des Scuds sur sa population. Il détruit systématiquement les boulangeries pour créer la famine. Vos espoirs – je suis désolée de vous le dire, Madame Ashton – sont donc totalement vains et démentis tous les matins sur le terrain.

Il faudrait donc peut-être – comme vous le constatez d'ailleurs après les horreurs qui se multiplient sur le terrain – essayer de changer un peu l'approche. Et changer un peu l'approche, c'est peut-être considérer que, dans les zones qui sont libérées aujourd'hui, il y a cette Syrie de l'après-Assad qui est en train de se construire, par l'initiative des conseils locaux, par la coalition qui, jour après jour, rétablit les services de base. Ici et là, il y a des exemples tout à fait intéressants: l'eau potable, la farine, le pain, les services de santé, la justice et même un tribunal qui continue son travail dans la zone libérée d'Alep, le Conseil de la magistrature qui va être rétabli... Il faut donc voir cette Syrie de l'après-Assad qui est en train de se construire et il faut l'aider. Il faut l'aider absolument!

Puis, il faut arrêter de se faire peur et de se raconter des histoires. Qu'est-ce que l'ASL? La description en a été faite la semaine dernière au Parlement européen. C'est 300 000 personnes, dont 100 000 sont armées. Parmi ces 300 000, il y a 5 000 islamistes et djihadistes. Et parmi ces 5 000 , 4 500 sont syriens et 500 sont de l'étranger. Arrêtons de projeter nos fantasmes sur la situation syrienne et travaillons sérieusement. Oui, il faut...

(Le président retire la parole à l'oratrice)

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, each time we debate Syria the situation appears more desperate. Both sides are determined that they can win this war and seem content to entrench themselves in a battle of attrition regardless of the human cost. Assad, in particular, has reached the stage where he is prepared to reduce his once great country to a wasteland of rubble and blood, all for the purposes of retaining power and escaping justice – a megalomaniac’s Pyrrhic victory.

It is all too easy to become desensitised, but we must continue to reinforce the scale of this barbarity: a staggering 70 000 civilians killed, and a million or more displaced people causing a full-blown refugee crisis which has the potential to destabilise the region, in particular Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The Lebanese Government, in particular, has taken a laissez-faire attitude which has exposed traumatised refugees to even more suffering. As with so many crises of this kind, women and children have suffered the most. Indeed one crucially under-reported feature of this war is the prevalence of rape as a weapon of terror. We also saw the ‘Save the Children’ report today which described children being used as informants and even as human shields.

It is hard to know how much worse the situation could become before Moscow feels compelled to do something to help or the Free Syrian Army can become armed and prevent arms going to the Salafists from the West, but in the meantime we must deploy every resource at our disposal to galvanise the international community and end this disaster.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder, namens de EFD-Fractie. – Voorzitter, alle buurlanden van het zo bloedig verscheurde Syrië slaan momenteel alarm. Zij waarschuwen voor een imminente, regionale catastrofe. Kernwoorden daarbij zijn de aloude interne islamitische tweespalt tussen soennieten en sjiieten, en grensoverschrijdend jihadisme.

Intussen melden internationale media dat Europese landen zoals Frankrijk en Engeland op Jordaans grondgebied Syrische milities trainen en tegelijkertijd informeren Kroatische kranten dat vanaf het vliegveld Zagreb sedert maanden grote partijen wapens worden verzonden naar Syrische milities.

Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, berusten deze mediaberichten op de feiten? En zo ja, hoe verhoudt zich deze betrokkenheid van lidstaten en een toekomstige lidstaat met het Europees beleid ten aanzien van de brandhaard Syrië?

Het hoeft geen betoog dat ik de humanitaire situatie erg dramatisch vind. Het meest schokkende dat ik heb gezien de laatste tijd, was een Syrische christin, ik denk een vrouw van tussen de dertig en veertig jaar, bij wie letterlijk een kruis in haar mondholte was gestoten. Hoe eerder aan deze vreselijke catastrofe een einde komt, des te beter. Laten we ons werkelijk inspannen om tot een politiek vergelijk te komen, maar dat kan niet samengaan met militaire interventie.

 
  
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  Willy Meyer, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señor Presidente, señora Ashton, en mi Grupo, evidentemente, estamos a favor de que se lleve a cabo una investigación rigurosa e imparcial de todos los crímenes terribles que se están perpetrando contra la población civil, atribuidos tanto al Gobierno como a la oposición, para condenar a los culpables.

Pero estos crímenes no deben alentar una intervención militar como las que se realizaron en Afganistán, en Irak o en Libia. Yo creo que deberíamos aprender, de una vez por todas, de las consecuencias de la intervención de Afganistán; no sabemos cómo salir de Afganistán, que está más talibanizado y, detrás, hay un reguero de muertes. Yo creo que la única solución posible es la apuesta política por una salida negociada, para que el pueblo sirio se ponga de acuerdo para buscar su autodeterminación.

Las noticias que aparecen en la prensa, de la magnitud de que los Estados Unidos están dando instrucción militar a fracciones de la oposición, fracciones que han secuestrado recientemente a veintiún cascos azules en los Altos del Golán, o del bombardeo de Israel sobre Siria, no son alentadoras. Van en el sentido contrario a lo que mi Grupo pretende. Y lo que pretende mi Grupo es llamar a las partes a la paz.

Efectivamente, no se puede echar más gasolina a este conflicto y, por lo tanto, merece la pena una concertación para dar todo nuestro apoyo al Enviado Especial de las Naciones Unidas, para que, de una vez por todas, las partes dejen de convertir a Siria en una cuestión geoestratégica y realmente prevalezca la paz.

 
  
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  Andrew Henry William Brons (NI). - Mr President, Syria is, of course, anything but a democracy, but not many countries in the Middle East are, including of course its fiercest critic, Saudi Arabia. Nor for that matter are all of Mr Assad’s opponents in Syria democrats.

The Syrian government’s handling of the protest was, from the beginning, grossly disproportionate, but its brutality has sometimes been matched by the opposition. We can judge a regime also by its substantive policies. Before the conflict, women were relatively liberated in Syria. Religious minorities, particularly Christians, were free to worship without interference, although, of course, some Christians have been attacked by Islamist members of the opposition.

It is all very well to bemoan the huge humanitarian toll of the conflict, but that is what happens when neither side is capable of winning decisively. It is also what happens when the protagonists are armed, albeit covertly, by outsiders.

How long will it be before the armed forces of Member States are dragged into the conflict and body bags start to be flown home to Europe? How ethical was it, and is it, for the West to encourage other people to risk their lives to advance the West’s political agenda: that is, depriving Iran of an ally and Israel of an adversary? Was regime change really worth 70 000 lives?

The priority now must be to bring the bloodshed to an end. That can happen only when there are talks, without preconditions, on neutral territory.

 
  
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  El Presidente. − Señorías, como les he indicado al principio de este debate, la señora Ashton tiene imperativamente que dejarnos a las siete porque sale para Pristina.

A mí me parece que sería más razonable darle la palabra ahora para que responda y reaccione ante los Grupos, que no pasar al turno de oradores que intervienen a título individual sin que después pueda contestar la Vicepresidenta.

Otra posibilidad sería darle la palabra al Comisario Füle después de dicho turno, pero me parece más pertinente que la señora Vicepresidenta reaccione ante las intervenciones de los Grupos políticos.

 
  
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  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). - Mr President, I object. This is a democratic body. She is here to listen to us.

 
  
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  El Presidente. − No voy a tener en consideración su objeción y voy a dar la palabra a la señora Vicepresidenta, porque el debate lo ordena el Presidente.

 
  
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  Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, I apologise that I have to leave, but of course I did not anticipate the terrible events of earlier today. I would otherwise have been with you for a longer period of time but, as you know, I have to go to Pristina this evening for the talks.

I wanted to answer on three or four key points that have been made. The first is that already you can hear the debate that I have seen in so many places in this House about how to effectively support the end of violence. Honourable Members here have talked about whether or not to engage in the supply of weapons in exactly the same conversations that, in my experience, have been happening in forums all over the world.

The first and most important issue that you wanted to discuss this evening was about how to get the humanitarian aid out. I accept that this has been incredibly difficult to do. Honourable Members know how important it is to try to work as effectively as possible with the agencies and the NGOs. If Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva had been here she would have again talked about the importance of ensuring that we keep humanitarian workers safe and humanitarian aid flowing as efficiently as possible. But it is because we know that it needs to be more effective that we have been working hard with the coalition to look at how we can work through their committee to get aid into different areas in Syria that we have not been reaching as effectively as we might have done.

My final point concerns the countries of the region and those who have increased their populations dramatically by the number of refugees. We are putting a lot of support into those countries and working with them very effectively but it is a very big problem. The numbers – as you have rightly indicated and as honourable Members have described – are increasing day by day. We get messages every day about how many people are crossing the borders, and we have to expect that influx to continue to grow.

Honourable Members, I share your deep concern and frustration about the situation. Every day we try to work out a more efficient and effective way to help and support the people, and we will continue to do that.

 
  
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  Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE). - Mr President, I hope that Mrs Ashton can answer my question, because what I saw yesterday is that you had an External Affairs Council meeting and you spoke with Russia on a constructive dialogue or engagement.

Did you also speak on the Syrian question and on the delivery of arms and on the UN Security Council? That is more important for me than only having constructive engagement about Syria.

Secondly, you did not answer what we already asked for in Parliament in our resolution, which is safe havens for all the people who are now on the move in Syria. Three million citizens there are no longer living in their own houses.

Thirdly, the delivery of non-lethal weapons: France, the UK and the United States all promised this, but is there anything already done? Those would be my questions to Mrs Ashton.

 
  
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  Catherine Ashton, VPC/HR. − Mr President, I should say to the honourable Member that I am always happy to answer questions in any way that I can.

The first thing to say is that when we were discussing Russia, which is getting ready for the European Council discussion on Russia, we talked about a whole range of different ways in which we engage with Russia. For example, we engage with them on the Iran E3+3 talks which, as you know, I led recently in Kazakhstan and will do again in two weeks time. We try to always work on our relationships and, when I meet with the Russian Foreign Minister, Syria is always on the agenda; and indeed in the Summits with President Putin, so to the same.

It is really important that we carry on engaging with them on all the different issues that we are confronted with and try and persuade them of the need to move forward to find the solution that so far has eluded us.

Secondly, in terms of what the Foreign Affairs Council does on weapons and non-lethal aid: I have put on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council, twice, discussions on what we should do in support of the people of Syria. This is a conversation, a discussion, a debate that goes on in every single Foreign Affairs Council and many conversations in between. Always, I talk about looking at all options; because it is very important that we have those debates in the detail that really will make our deliberations move us forward.

Regarding the issues of non-lethal aid and technical assistance: this is partly a clarification of what exactly we are trying to do to support the people, and ensuring, within the legal frameworks we operate in, that we are clear about what we are doing and what we are not doing.

I have made clear that in those debates no Member State suggested that we should lift the arms embargo and provide weapons. Nonetheless, we will continue to come back to those discussions because it is important to keep that debate going.

One of the big considerations, and it has been raised here already, is that in anything we do we have to answer the question: Do we think this will prevent deaths or do we think that this is actually going to make things more difficult? That, I have to say, is part of every discussion that we need to have.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). - A crise agrava-se, como já foi dramaticamente descrito hoje, na Síria, nos países vizinhos.

A União Europeia tem-se empenhado no apoio humanitário e presta homenagem ao funcionário da delegação em Damasco, Ahmad Shihadeh, que pagou com a vida a sua dedicação a ajudar o povo sírio.

Mas o apoio humanitário não chega, não é meio para se alcançar uma solução política. Eu não defendo que se forneçam armas quando não se sabe a quem e como as vir a controlar, mas outros fornecem, não nos iludamos, apesar do embargo.

É urgente a União Europeia investir mais em negociações políticas, envolvendo, desde já, os principais atores na resistência a Bashar el-Assad, para favorecer a emergência de forças políticas com uma agenda democrática não sectária, inclusiva de todas as minorias na Síria pós-Assad. O processo pode estar distante, ser duro e moroso, mas vai ser indispensável porque, depois de Assad, vai travar-se outra batalha, pela reconstrução da Síria, pela construção de uma Síria democrática contra as forças totalitárias e obscurantistas que aproveitam a presente guerra para se implantar no terreno.

É preciso também dizer à Rússia e à China, em todas as oportunidades, discretamente e com os megafones que a diplomacia consente, que está na hora de assumirem as suas responsabilidades por esta catástrofe humana de proporções incalculáveis que vai possivelmente votar a Síria, mais um país, à categoria de Estado falhado. Tudo porque bloquearam e bloqueiam a ação do Conselho de Segurança da ONU.

É preciso que os crimes de guerra na Síria de Bashar el-Assad e de outros, incluindo de forças rebeldes, sejam remetidos ao Tribunal Penal Internacional.

(O Presidente retira a palavra à oradora)

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake (ALDE). - Mr President, let me start by offering my condolences on the death of Ahmad Shihadeh, a policy officer at the EU representation in Damascus. Sadly the days when the deaths of individuals in Syria make European news are rare. Even as people are murdered by tens of thousands, we are still searching for solutions. While millions are on the run and countless are wounded and missing, what is the value of a human life?

Commissioner Georgieva wrote today that we need a political solution, yet many, including European citizens, are taking up arms and joining extremist networks that take the space that is left by the international community. The people in Syria are increasingly crushed between the murderous regime and violent extremists. Today, opposition members even took to the streets to demonstrate against Al-Nusra. It is a huge mistake to pretend that all opposition consists of extremists.

We as the European Union must get aid to the people and take the initiative for a UN mandate enabling direct cross-border operations from Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Let us get more deeply involved in what happens in the refugee camps, so women do not continue to be abused and extremists cannot infiltrate. We need a strategy for the day after Assad – in a country full of weapons, with deep wounds, where there is such a desire for revenge in an ethnically-mixed society.

Concretely, the EU should also take in more Syrian refugees itself. We need to put Hezbollah on the EU’s terror list and we must do more to push Russia and others blocking a real political solution to finally take a stance and stop the killing of innocent civilians in Syria.

 
  
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  Rui Tavares (Verts/ALE). - Há algumas coisas que eu não entendo neste debate. Os refugiados estão nos campos na Síria, um milhão deles em situação de emergência. Nós aprovámos neste Parlamento, já por duas vezes, um pacote de emergência para reinstalação de refugiados que estão precisamente nesta situação. Três milhões de euros num envelope separado sem precisar de ir buscar dinheiro ao Fundo Europeu de Refugiados. Porque é que não é usado? Há mulheres que são vítimas de violência física e sexual nestes campos. As nossas prioridades do Fundo Europeu de Refugiados dizem que elas devem estar na linha da frente para reinstalação. Porque é que essa medida ainda não foi implementada?

Diz a Sra. Ashton: é muito difícil fazer um corredor humanitário na Síria. Nós temos melhor que um corredor humanitário, nós temos uma fronteira com a Síria. A União Europeia esquece-se muitas vezes que Chipre está a 60km por mar da Síria, próximo da cidade de Lataquia, onde chegam toneladas de armas mas de onde não sai um refugiado para o território da União Europeia.

Estes refugiados, muitos deles, estão a ser radicalizados em países como o Qatar ou a Arábia Saudita e depois, evidentemente, a União Europeia vai queixar-se quando a Síria cair nas mãos dos extremistas mas antes não fez nada para impedir que isso acontecesse.

 
  
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  Sajjad Karim (ECR). - Mr President, Syria is being allowed to stew. On the one hand, we say to the people, stand up for your rights and fight for your freedom. On the other hand, we are leaving them to the mercy of this dictator. These are not my views, these are views that are expressed to me by ordinary people throughout the region. This is the message that they are beginning to receive.

On top of that, what is their experience now in places like Jordan? Like Lebanon? The immense pressures of refugees on ordinary people is becoming far too great for them to bear.

Whilst on the one hand we are seeking to get countries like the UEA, like Kuwait, like Saudi Arabia, to come on board and work with us in a coordinated fashion, even that is not going to be enough.

My very final point is this: the EU embargo. It is due for renewal soon and it will not be our finest hour if any of our Member States have to go it alone, but that will happen if leadership is not provided at an EU level.

 
  
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  Jacek Włosowicz (EFD). - Koleżanki i Koledzy! W ciągu ostatnich dwóch lat sytuacja w Syrii ewoluowała od ograniczanego powstania do ogólnokrajowej wojny domowej. Jej koszty to zniszczony kraj, około 70 tys. zabitych ludzi oraz 4 mln uchodźców – chociaż te dane zmieniają się z dnia na dzień, jak podkreśliła pani Ashton. Przyparty do muru prezydent Assad zdecydował się na strategię podziału społeczeństwa wzdłuż linii religijnych i etnicznych. Syria to kolejny kraj, w którym dżihadyści ukradli demokratyczną rewolucję. Jakże daleko jest prawo szariatu, sądy w Idlib, wypędzenie chrześcijan z Al-Rakka czy zamach bombowy na Uniwersytecie w Aleppo od szczytnych idei demokracji i wolności, którymi kierowali się protestujący w marcu dwa lata temu. Z poparciem zagranicy islamiści stanowią dziś awangardę sił powstańczych: najlepiej uzbrojoną, wyćwiczoną, karną i nieokiełznaną. Ta wojna dała im finansowe, jak i militarne zasoby, oraz otworzyła możliwości, jakich nigdy wcześniej nie mieli. To nasz błąd. Niestety ostatnie wycofanie sił syryjskich ze Wzgórz Golan i oddanie pola bojownikom stanowi także zagrożenie dla kruchej stabilizacji na Bliskim Wschodzie. Co nam pozostaje? Sądzę, że należy uznać Al-Nusra Front za organizację terrorystyczną, przedłużyć embargo na dostawy broni z Syrii oraz scentralizować przez Brukselę lub ONZ wszystkie dostawy humanitarne.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL). - Cinco mil sírios fogem todos os dias da violência para os países vizinhos. É, sem dúvida, uma catástrofe humanitária que decorre de uma guerra que não devia existir. Mas uma guerra que não se trava entre sírios pois, ao contrário do que se tem dito, o que mais tem existido neste conflito é a intervenção internacional.

Hoje é público e assumido que esta guerra é arquitetada, financiada e conduzida desde o exterior e que, portanto, sem a ação criminosa dos Estados Unidos da América, das potências alinhadas da NATO, de Israel e das ditaduras do Golfo Pérsico, a atual guerra não seria possível.

Os mesmos que são considerados terroristas no Mali são na Síria transfigurados em exército livre, como foram na Líbia designados rebeldes. Para os Estados Unidos, tudo vale para a destabilização da região do chamado Grande Médio Oriente, tudo vale para defender os seus interesses no controlo da economia mundial e na geopolítica.

Muito bem, queremos proteger os cidadãos sírios e queremos a paz. A melhor forma de o fazermos a longo prazo é promovermos uma solução política que só será possível se não participarmos na intervenção estrangeira em curso na Síria, ou seja, não apoiarmos o treino e armamento de terroristas que se dedicam a destruir, a atacar e a saquear edifícios públicos, a atentar contra infraestruturas energéticas e a raptar cidadãos. Os refugiados sírios agradeceriam.

 
  
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  Nicole Sinclaire (NI). - Mr President, in a dispute where up to 70 000 people have been killed and a million refugees have fled the country since the crisis began two years ago, the question must be posed: what good is Baroness Ashton? What is her highly expensive and ineffective EEAS achieving to alleviate the situation?

The answer is very little, just typical EU lip-service – or you are an expensive lipstick, Mrs Ashton. Your authority is highly questionable. You represent 27 nations who have different outlooks. You have been heavily criticised here today by members of all political groups. Indeed, Mr Cameron said the UK was still an independent country when threatening to veto an EU extension to the arms embargo. What does that make you? Redundant?

The situation in Syria is deplorable. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has today visited a UN refugee camp in Jordan and described the situation as heart-breaking. What will you do? Will you at least begin by putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organisations?

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). - Aj ja by som chcel vyjadriť znepokojenie a frustráciu z humanitárnej krízy, ktorá pretrváva v Sýrii. Obávam sa, že v najbližšom období sa bude ešte viac eskalovať a že môže nielen destabilizovať región, ale mať aj negatívny vplyv na štáty EÚ. Obávam sa tiež, že aj po prípadnom skončení občianskej vojny sa humanitárna situácia Sýrčanov nezlepší. Sýria je príkladom rozpadajúceho sa štátu a jeho stabilizácia a budovanie bude trvať desaťročia. Musíme preto bez ilúzií zhodnotiť situáciu a hľadať možné východiská.

Súhlasím s vyjadreniami o tom, že je potrebné politické riešenie občianskej vojny v Sýrii. Treba ho hľadať nielen v Sýrii, ale tiež mimo nej. V tomto smere by mala Únia zintenzívniť svoje politické a diplomatické postavenie. Otázku humanitárnej krízy však treba riešiť okamžite. Verím, že Európska únia má prostriedky, ktorými môže prispieť k riešeniu a pomôže zmobilizovať pomoc, ktorá by odbremenila štáty susediace so Sýriou. Eskalácia humanitárnych problémov v týchto krajinách totiž môže uvrhnúť celý región do hlbokej krízy.

 
  
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  María Muñiz De Urquiza (S&D). - Señor Presidente, el 30 de junio de 2012 se firmó un principio de acuerdo en Ginebra para un Gobierno de transición en Siria, un acuerdo alcanzado por el Grupo de Acción para Siria, que incluía a los Estados Unidos, Rusia, China, la Liga Árabe, las Naciones Unidas, la Unión Europea, Turquía, Francia y el Reino Unido, es decir, el conjunto de la comunidad internacional. ¿Qué ha ocurrido para que se abandonara ese principio de acuerdo, que es lo más sólido que hemos tenido en relación con el conflicto de Siria?

Creo que hay que volver a las Naciones Unidas, que hay que volver a la vía diplomática, que hay que retomar ese acuerdo de Ginebra, y creo que la Unión Europea, además de reforzar el aspecto humanitario —como ha recordado la señora De Keyser y ha confirmado que se está haciendo la Alta Representante—, debería estar proponiendo ya algunas nuevas ideas, como el aligeramiento de sanciones en los territorios liberados y el lanzamiento de programas de ayuda para las poblaciones de esos territorios. Y creo que las propuestas de aprovisionamiento de armas a los rebeldes o de crear pasillos humanitarios que no se pueden gestionar no son ni responsables ni realistas.

Además, me parece muy paradójico que quienes están proponiendo aquí que se aprovisione de armas a los rebeldes saben que sus Gobiernos en el Consejo no están de acuerdo con esa medida, y es un poco demagógico plantearlo en el Parlamento Europeo sabiendo que es inviable.

Y habría que ser conscientes de que Arabia Saudí, el país que ha ejecutado hoy mismo a siete personas, está armando a los grupos rebeldes, y no necesariamente a aquellos que están promoviendo una transición democrática en Siria.

 
  
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  Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, nous avons d'un côté, en Syrie, la pire des guerres qui soit, c'est-à-dire une guerre civile, et de l'autre côté, une communauté internationale que je trouve absolument impuissante à agir. Et il me semble que nous devrions, ici, nous concentrer sur ce que nous pouvons et sur ce que nous devons faire.

Il y a deux urgences. Évidemment, l'urgence humanitaire, tout le monde en a parlé. Il faut – Hélène Flautre l'a très bien dit tout à l'heure – acheminer, cela c'est extrêmement concret, l'aide humanitaire dans les zones libérées, et en passant par la coalition et par l'ASL. Et cela, c'est, concrètement, absolument possible.

Il faut, deuxièmement, aider davantage les réfugiés qui sont dans les camps des pays voisins, autour de la Syrie. J'ai visité un certain nombre de ces camps. Évidemment, le flux de refugiés ne cesse de s'accroître et ces pays ont besoin de notre aide et d'une aide supplémentaire. Et ça, à nouveau, c'est concret. Je pense en particulier au Liban, qui est dans une situation absolument catastrophique.

Troisième point sur le plan humanitaire, nous pouvons aussi agir en faisant preuve, nous, Union européenne, de solidarité, en améliorant, par exemple, le traitement des demandeurs d'asile et l'accueil des réfugiés chez nous, au sein de l'Union européenne.

Et puis, il y a une deuxième urgence, qui est évidemment l'urgence politique. La Ligue arabe a lancé un appel à la Coalition nationale syrienne pour que celle-ci désigne une instance exécutive et participe ainsi au Sommet arabe de Doha. J'aurais aimé que Mme Ashton me donne son point de vue sur cette initiative. Moi, j'estime très important que les forces d'opposition syriennes se dotent d'un véritable gouvernement et je juge essentiel que nous pesions de tout notre poids, que l'Union européenne veille avec eux à ce que cette opposition inclue et intègre l'ensemble des communautés ethniques et religieuses dans son projet politique pour la Syrie.

Cette manière-là de rassembler les uns et les autres le plus largement possible, c'est la seule permettant d'éviter demain l'engrenage de violences intercommunautaires dans une Syrie, j'espère, libérée de son régime. C'est une des conditions, me semble-t-il, pour gagner la guerre demain, et c'est une des conditions pour gagner la paix.

 
  
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  Malika Benarab-Attou (Verts/ALE). - Monsieur le Président, la Syrie d'aujourd'hui, c'est 70 000 morts, deux millions et demi de personnes déplacées à l'intérieur du pays et un million de réfugiés dans les pays limitrophes. La situation humanitaire est catastrophique et dramatique en Syrie et l'aide apportée est dérisoire, au regard des besoins.

Le plus terrible concerne les enfants. Deux millions de Syriens mineurs souffrent de malnutrition, de maladies et de traumatismes multiples. Quelles actions envisagez-vous pour eux? La liste des morts s'allonge, alors qu'entre les agendas américain et suisse, l'Europe tergiverse.

L'Union doit, rapidement et fermement, mobiliser tous les acteurs, pour une sortie de crise effective et durable. Une volonté politique forte de l'UE permettrait de sauver des vies et de trouver une solution politique à la crise syrienne. Je demande à la Haute représentante de l'Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité de conclure d'urgence un accord sur l'aide humanitaire, permettant aux populations d'accéder aux convois par-delà les frontières et les lignes de front et garantissant la sécurité des travailleurs humanitaires, des structures médicales et des patients.

 
  
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  Boris Zala (S&D). - Mr President, for nearly two years the European Union pursued a policy of restraint and caution in Syria. Perhaps it was the right strategy at the time, but instead of getting closer to a resolution, the civil war in Syria reached a stalemate that could last for years and devastate the country for decades to come.

I therefore support the calls of the British and French Governments to ease the conditions of the EU arms embargo so that we can provide adequate support to the opposition. However, it should be a decision taken by the EU as a whole, and of course, coordinated with the US, Turkey and the Arab League. Maybe such action could support the Arab League to intervene and help establish an interim government in Syria.

I am well aware of the risks of supplying lethal assistance to the rebels. However, as things stand today, and in view of the humanitarian situation in Syria, the risks of inaction are higher.

 
  
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  Charles Goerens (ALDE). - Monsieur le Président, depuis que les drames ont éclaté en Syrie, la communauté internationale ne cesse de répéter qu'il n'y a pas d'issue militaire à ce conflit.

D'un côté, nous avons le régime syrien armé jusqu'aux dents, disposant de chars, d'avions et sans doute d'armes chimiques. De l'autre, nous voyons la coalition anti-Assad exposée, sans défenses suffisantes, à la barbarie d'un dictateur qui prend pour cible son propre peuple, lequel aspire à pouvoir vivre une vie normale, en jouissant des droits et libertés fondamentaux les plus élémentaires.

Nous ne pouvons que constater notre incapacité à faire, sur le plan militaire, ce qui serait nécessaire pour hâter la mise en place d'un processus politique. Pourtant, l'on voit mal l'alternative efficace à l'octroi d'une aide militaire, y compris la livraison d'armes aux forces rebelles, et ce, d'autant plus que le régime Assad voit ses livraisons d'armes assurées, notamment, par un État membre du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies.

Nos espoirs vont donc, en ces temps dramatiques, vers deux autres États membres du Conseil de sécurité, en l'occurrence, le Royaume-Uni et la France, qui ont prouvé par le passé qu'il ne fallait pas attendre l'accord des Vingt-sept pour arrêter les mesures appropriées.

Un dernier mot sur l'action humanitaire de Mme Georgieva. Son action est exemplaire, je tiens à le souligner. Ne réduisons pas, dans nos commentaires, son action à l'incapacité d'atteindre toutes les victimes. Elle est vraiment la dernière à devoir assumer cette responsabilité.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
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  Pino Arlacchi (S&D). - Mr President, what is happening in Syria today is inconsistent with the maxim that history never repeats itself. An original tragedy that occurred in Afghanistan 30 years ago is being repeated today in the shape of an even greater tragedy. I say this because we know from reliable sources that most of the weapons sent to Syria by the United States and its allies for the purpose of toppling the Assad regime are ending up in the hands of Islamist extremists who are just like the Afghan Mujahideen of the 1980s.

We would be kidding ourselves if we thought that any outside player is capable of controlling the ultimate fate of the weapons that it supplies. Arming the Syrian opposition against a brutal but militarily-strong regime means drastically reducing the chances of a soft landing when Assad falls. If he falls, armed opposition will not demobilise, and it is again the Afghan lesson that should be learned. After 12 years of war and military occupation, the only solution is still the diplomatic and political one: that is the only solution that should be pursued today.

 
  
 

Intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»)

 
  
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  Rareş-Lucian Niculescu (PPE). - Îmi pare rău că Dna Vicepreşedintă nu mai este cu noi. Doresc să aduc în dezbatere problemele cu care se confruntă cei peste 525 000 de refugiaţi palestinieni aflaţi în prezent în Siria. Dacă, înainte de începerea conflictelor, aceştia constituiau una dintre cele mai sărace comunităţi, acum refugiaţii palestinieni sunt printre cei care au cel mai mult de suferit. Cifrele disponibile sugerează peste 1 000 de decese în rândul acestora, alţi peste 200 000 de refugiaţi palestinieni au fost deplasaţi în interiorul teritoriului.

Agenţia competentă a Naţiunilor Unite răspunde activ la nevoile refugiaţilor palestinieni, însă are nevoie de finanţări suplimentare. De la începutul violenţelor din Siria, Libanul a primit până acum peste 20 000 de refugiaţi palestinieni din acest stat, situaţia devenind extrem de greu de gestionat. Orice demersuri pentru rezolvarea crizei umanitare din Siria trebuie să ţină cont şi de refugiaţii palestinieni. Să nu uităm că aceşti oameni sunt de două ori refugiaţi: o dată s-au refugiat din ţara lor, iar acum din ţările care i-au primit.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (NI). - Herr Präsident! Ich habe bei Frau Ashton leider vermisst, dass sie die Leistung der libanesischen Behörden gebührend würdigt, die ja vor eine schwere Aufgabe gestellt sind. Während einer Reise der Delegation für die Beziehungen zu den Maschrik-Ländern konnte ich mich vor Ort von der dramatischen humanitären Situation im Libanon überzeugen, insbesondere in den Camps, wo lediglich circa 300 000 Flüchtlinge registriert sind. Man spricht von einer Dunkelziffer von 800 000 bis 900 000, die bei Verwandten leben. Unvorstellbar, das entspricht fast einem Fünftel der libanesischen Bevölkerung! Das ist ungefähr so, als würde in zwei Jahren ein Drittel der Bevölkerung Wiens neu zuwandern.

Libanon ist überfordert, da müssen wir helfen. Aber auch die Arabische Liga ist gefordert zu helfen. So sollen hier die Golfstaaten, insbesondere Saudi-Arabien, nicht nur Gruppen, die salafistisch und fundamentalistisch sind, unterstützen, sondern sie sollen auch Flüchtlingen helfen. Das wollen sie aber anscheinend nicht, denn es würde sie in ihrer archaischen, patriarchalischen Behaglichkeit offensichtlich zu sehr stören. Die EU muss hier schon darauf dringen, dass diese Länder ihre Verantwortung auch übernehmen.

 
  
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  Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE). - Arvoisa puhemies, suurimman vahingon sota saa aikaan niille, joilla on koko elämä edessään. Sekä kapinallisten että hallituksen joukot ovat värvänneet jopa 12- ja 13-vuotiaita poikia joukkoihinsa lapsisotilaiksi. Tämä on kansainvälisen humanitaarisen oikeuden rikkomus. Unicefin mukaan jopa puolet kiireellisen avun tarvitsijoista on alle 18-vuotiaita, joista yli 500 000 on alle 5-vuotiaita. Vaarana on siis kokonaisen sukupolven menettäminen sodan takia.

YK on arvioinut, että pakolaisten määrä saattaa kaksin- ellei kolminkertaistua tämän vuoden aikana, mikäli kriisi jatkuu. EU:n onkin tuettava Syyrian naapurimaita pakolaisvirtojen hallitsemisessa ja avun tarjoamisessa heille. Pakolaisten kohtelu on monin paikoin erittäin huonoa.

Kansainvälinen yhteisö ei ole tehnyt tarpeeksi Syyrian kriisin ratkaisemiseksi. Maan kansalaisia ei voida jättää oman onnensa nojaan.

 
  
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  Ρόδη Κράτσα-Τσαγκαροπούλου (PPE). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, θέλω να τονίσω ότι η ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια δεν είναι αρκετή. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση έχει φερθεί με γενναιοδωρία. Πρέπει όμως να καταλάβουμε ότι τα ποσά που έχουν δεσμευθεί στη συνάντηση του Κουβέιτ πρέπει να καταβληθούν. Ήμουν στον Λίβανο πρόσφατα με τον κ. Obermayr και άλλους συναδέλφους και είδαμε ότι μόνον μέχρι τον Ιούνιο με την ταχεία αύξηση που έχει το μεταναστευτικό ρεύμα φτάνουν οι πόροι που έχει ο ΟΗΕ.

Πρέπει να πιέσουμε λοιπόν όχι για την καταβολή των δικών μας πόρων αλλά για την καταβολή από τους διεθνείς δωρητές και για τον συντονισμό αυτής της βοήθειας, τη μη πολιτικοποίηση αυτών που πηγαίνουν εκεί, γιατί και αυτό είναι ένας κίνδυνος, και δεύτερον, χρειάζεται να πιέσουμε για πολιτική λύση, διότι η κατάσταση γίνεται έκρυθμη στον Λίβανο, πιέζει για άλλους λόγους την Ιορδανία, ο δε Λίβανος είναι η μόνη χώρα που κρατά ανοικτά τα σύνορά της αλλά δεν μπορεί να απορροφήσει και το ρεύμα των προσφύγων που έχουν φτάσει εκεί.

Λοιπόν, με δεδομένα όλα μαζί τα εσωτερικά πολιτικά θέματα που ανακύπτουν, σίγουρα θα υπάρξουν αρνητικές επιπτώσεις στην περιοχή και στην παγκόσμια ειρήνη.

 
  
 

(Fin de las intervenciones con arreglo al procedimiento de solicitud incidental de uso de la palabra («catch the eye»))

 
  
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  Štefan Füle, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, thank you very much. I have followed this discussion on this moving and important subject. I have also followed it because I have visited the region. Only last week I visited Lebanon, but I will come back to that.

I am also, of course, participating in all the discussions the Foreign Affairs Council is having on Syria so I can only confirm what Cathy Ashton, the High Representative, said here a couple of minutes ago on an arms embargo, about which there is really nothing I can add.

Let me make five other points, not substituting but in addition to what the High Representative said. The first point is about our role. With our role, with our assistance, with us being credible because whatever we pledged, we deliver on it: because of us this crisis is manageable. Without the European Union, we could hardly have described the crisis as being manageable.

The second issue: the truth is that a couple of months ago, we began thinking about starting to look at our assistance for the day after, trying to figure out what kind of modern, transformed Syria we would like to see. But as there is no light at the end of the tunnel, as there is only a bleak prospect for a political solution as the days and weeks pass, we are now focussing more and more on how to handle what is becoming a regional crisis.

It is not only Cathy Ashton as High Representative, it is not only Kristalina Georgieva, my colleague from the cabinet, and it is not only me: the whole Commission and all the Member States are trying to do their best because of the scale of the crisis, and I will come back to the scale of this crisis.

The next point is about getting the assistance first of all to those in Syria. Let me make it clear that we are trying to be innovative here. We are now working more closely with the Syrian coalition, with the Syrian Liberation Army, with the local authorities. We are trying to map out the needs and the possibilities on the ground. It is not an easy task, because although you might have some areas liberated, others are not and those areas pose a danger. But we are keen, facing this tragedy inside Syria, to be as innovative as possible in getting the assistance to those in need.

The next point is about assistance outside of Syria. Countries which are already suffering because of the huge amounts of refugees, like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, will have to bear even more responsibility here, but they will not be able to do so without our assistance and support, and here the European Union is not one of the biggest, it is the biggest contributor to humanitarian aid.

However, we are not only financing the needs of the refugees. What is more and more important – I have just talked about the emerging regional crisis – is that we also support more and more the hosting communities in those countries, which are under greater and greater stress.

In Lebanon they prepared a plan in January on how to help the refugees, planning or forecasting, estimating that by summer time there were going to be around 300 000 refugees from Syria in Lebanon. That level was reached a couple of days before I went to Lebanon and some of my interlocutors were talking about a possible one million, or one and a half million refugees by the end of this year. Without us, proceeding with this integrated assistance, helping the refugees and at the same time the hosting community, Lebanon would not be able to withstand the pressure – Lebanon as we know it.

We are not forgetting the Palestinians, nor any other group, and I had a possibility in Lebanon to meet some of those who were registered by the UNHCR and some of those who have been registered by UNRWA, and I have heard a number of personal stories, including the personal stories of Palestinians fleeing Syria, then being put in one of the camps in Lebanon and, after being confronted with the conditions there, fleeing back to Syria, being confronted with the even more intensified fighting there, and fleeing again back to Lebanon. Those are the stories but one really cannot imagine the reality.

This is what is driving us to do more than just saying a political solution is needed. We are creating and using whatever the European Union is offering us to help alleviate the situation, not only in Syria but also the region around.

 
  
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  El Presidente. − Se cierra el debate.

Declaraciones por escrito (artículo 149 del Reglamento)

 
  
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  Joanna Senyszyn (S&D), na piśmie. – Sytuacja w Syrii jest katastrofalna i pogarsza się z dnia na dzień. Według ONZ, konflikt w Syrii pochłonął już ponad 60 tysięcy ofiar. 2 miliony osób opuściło swoje domy w poszukiwaniu bezpiecznego schronienia. Prawie milion osób uciekło przed skutkami wojny do pobliskich krajów: Jordanii, Iraku, Libanu oraz Turcji. W sumie 4 miliony ludzi potrzebuje pomocy, to jest o trzy miliony więcej niż w ubiegłym roku. Prawie 80 procent wszystkich uchodźców to kobiety i dzieci. Każdy kolejny dzień, miesiąc to kolejne ofiary. W pierwszej kolejności Syria potrzebuje pomocy medycznej oraz dostaw żywności i wody. W miarę rozprzestrzeniania się walk w różnych częściach Syrii udzielanie pomocy staje się coraz trudniejsze. Do tego dochodzą ciężkie warunki pogodowe. Poprawy wymaga komunikacja między kluczowymi partnerami dostarczającymi pomocy humanitarnej oraz koordynacja prowadzonych w tym zakresie działań. Potrzeba też regionalnego planu awaryjnego, gwarantującego stałość pomocy dla ludności lokalnej, w przypadku gdyby organizacje humanitarne musiałyby opuścić Damaszek.

 
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