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Dienstag, 8. März 2016 - Straßburg Überprüfte Ausgabe

10. Lage in Syrien (Aussprache)
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulla dichiarazione del Vicepresidente della Commissione/Alto rappresentante dell'Unione per gli affari esteri e la politica di sicurezza sulla situazione in Siria.

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Mr President, let me start by saying that we discussed this issue – the situation in Syria and our work to try and put an end to the war – on 19 January, so less than two months ago. Many different things have happened since then so I would like to thank you for this debate and for the opportunity that this offers us all to check and double check the steps taken, the sense of direction and also the difficulties we still have ahead of us.

First of all let me remind us all again what has happened in this one and a half months. First of all we had the London conference on Syria. I start with this because this was not only a pledging conference where the European Union and the Member States represented two-thirds of the contributions to support Syrians inside Syria and in the neighbouring countries, but this was also a way of showing the unity of the international community and solidarity and a sense of hope for the Syrians in their own country.

We have pledged EUR 3 billion in support for the refugees and the internally displaced people inside Syria and for the humanitarian aid. I will go back to the role of the humanitarian aid in a moment from a political and also from a security point of view, but we also prepared two packages, two compacts as we call them, one for Jordan and one for Lebanon, which comprise not only financial support, but also some measures that can support these countries in the effort of integrating Syrian refugees into the host communities, giving children education, giving young women and men job opportunities, and also making it sustainable for the communities in Jordan and in Lebanon to sustain this effort in the mid-term period.

The second thing that has happened since 19 January is that the first round of talks among Syrians took place in Geneva – almost immediately suspended because of clear problems that were coming up in the first talks that Staffan de Mistura was holding at the time – and a subsequent meeting of the International Support Group in Munich.

Here we met at length for many hours together with John Kerry, Lavrov and all the other Foreign Ministers represented there from some 20 countries, the European Union and the Arab League, all around the table, trying to check exactly whether the suspension of the talks in Geneva was due to difficulties that were impossible to overcome – not only locally, internally, nationally, among the Syrians but also in the bigger regional framework – or if it would be possible, through the International Support Group, to move forward and revitalise a process in which all of us have invested so much in the last months.

Out of this meeting in Munich we established two task forces: one on the modalities of the cessation of hostilities, co-chaired by the US and Russia, these being the two actors that needed to coordinate the most, especially in military coordination, to identify in concrete terms the maps, the groupings and the areas for the entry into force of the ceasefire or the cessation of hostilities.

And a task force on humanitarian aid, because we identified very clearly the need to have a second round of talks in Geneva, which Staffan de Mistura has now announced for tomorrow and the coming days, to make sure that these talks happen with a completely different, or very substantially different, atmosphere on the ground, rather than the one that we experienced on the previous occasion, meaning to try and reduce the gap between Syrians talking in Geneva about a very difficult political transition and process, while on the ground Syrians are dying in besieged areas and cities with no access to humanitarian aid.

So we know that delivering in an effective way humanitarian aid, food and medicines to the Syrians inside Syria would give credibility. It would create conditions for a credible process in Geneva and would also open up some channels for political discussions among different parties.

We then has, as you know, the task force on cessation of hostilities producing very advanced work – the humanitarian task force as well, I will come back with details in a moment – and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2268 on cessation of hostilities that started on 29 February.

Since then, I have to say – not only myself but also the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura and the two Co-Chairs of the taskforce, the US and Russia – that the cessation of hostilities, the ceasefire, is substantially holding even if we are seeing several breaches throughout Syria, in different parts of Syria.

However, the overall assessment is that the ceasefire is holding and that the situation on the ground for this whole week has been significantly improved compared to all the previous weeks of the conflict. That is to say that this is probably the first time in five years of conflict that we see in many parts of Syria no major armed intervention even if, as I said, breaches are happening continuously but with an intensity and a magnitude that is definitely on a different scale from in the past.

On the humanitarian task force: we have managed in these weeks to deliver aid through 180 trucks to 150 000 Syrians inside Syria in different besieged areas and we are working – the EU in particular and together with the UN – I will come back to that as I said, to reach areas further beyond the ones we have managed to reach so far.

As I said, Staffan de Mistura has announced that talks will restart from tomorrow onwards. We do not expect this to be an easy process, on the contrary, but the fact that we managed to somehow recreate, or create rather, the conditions for the talks to be taking place is definitely good. I met Riad Hijab in Paris a few days ago and we discussed at length not the conditions that anyone places on going back to Geneva but how the international community, the regional actors and the participants to the talks managed to create the conditions for the talks to be significant and substantial.

And let me say that one strong message that we, all of the European Union, together with the rest of the international community but here I talk for the European Union, are passing on united is to encourage all the parties, starting from the regime obviously but also the opposition, not only to go to Geneva and take part in the talks but also to do this in a spirit of engagement and compromise. Obviously we are also working as the European Union to support the opposition in this very difficult task of entering these difficult negotiations.

This is the first time after five years of war that we have this combination of cessation of hostilities holding overall, even if with significant breaches but holding overall, and humanitarian aid being delivered in besieged areas. So this is indeed not creating a rosy picture from one day to the next or from one week to the next, but there are some steps that are finally going in the right direction.

One of these is the coordination that I mentioned before that the US and Russia have developed, especially on the military-to-military level, a close coordination with regard to first the establishment and then the monitoring of the ceasefire, and the work to defuse tensions that could endanger this very fragile truce. This is why I believe that those who talk about a new Cold War definitely need a reality check when it comes to this level of coordination and messaging.

Now, the role of the European Union. The European Union is part of both the task forces, with different roles. On the ceasefire, on the cessation of hostilities task force we have a presence, together with other countries or organisations that are part of the international support group. We have our military experts present there and we are also working out ways in which we can contribute to monitoring the cessation of hostilities, together with other friends.

On the humanitarian assistance task force our role is definitely a much bigger, relevant one, not because we are the ones who are the good ones and not the ones that get implicated in military things, but simply because in specific terms, the role of the European Union in Syria has not been – this was a political decision and I think it was right – it has not been and it is not a military player on the ground in Syria.

Some Member States are, but nonetheless, the leading role here is for the two main countries that have a military presence and activity, knowledge and control of the military activities that can be done, leading to negotiations on the establishment of cessation of hostilities. This does not mean, as I said, that we are not part also of this very crucial work with our active presence there and that, as I said, might increase in future days.

On humanitarian assistance: there is here a very strong link between humanitarian aid and the political process that needs to restart. The last time we met, I remember that many of you mentioned the need for a Marshall Plan for Syria. If we consider the numbers, the money we are putting into this inside Syria, in the neighbouring countries and elsewhere, I can say that the Marshall Plan has already started in a very significant way.

The humanitarian task force in which, as I said, we have a leading role has already met four times and, as I said, has succeeded in delivering 180 trucks of aid to seven besieged areas and we reached out to more than 150 000 Syrians in cities like Madaya, Mouadimiya, al-Sham, Kafr Batna, Foua, Kafraya, Zabadani and Deir Ezzor. This is not an exhaustive list. On the contrary, we are working on further cities all over Syria that need to be reached – and could be reached – in terms of priorities in the coming days and weeks.

The plan is to deliver assistance to more than 1.7 million Syrians inside Syria during the first quarter of this year, so in the next couple of months. To provide direct help for the humanitarian deliveries and work hand in hand with the UN agencies on the ground we have reactivated our ECHO office in Damascus. Among international actors, let me say that the European Union is probably the only one that is considered trustworthy by all sides – inside Syria and in the region. Somehow we have privileged access to many of the interlocutors that then have to work on the steps that are needed to allow humanitarian aid inside the difficult-to-reach areas.

Our major role on humanitarian aid gives us also a major political role to play and we are doing this. We are helping to create windows of trust between different parties in the conflict. Our role is to open wide such windows for meaningful and comprehensive negotiations towards a political transition. We have to keep in mind, even with these positive steps that have taken place in recent weeks, that a new escalation might still happen anytime. The regional situation remains very tense. Every day we see news that is extremely worrying – even this morning – and that the proxy war among regional and international powers could still turn into a direct war.

This is something we must always keep in mind all through our work, keeping the hope that moves are going forwards on the diplomatic track, on humanitarian assistance and also on the work on the cessation of hostilities and the monitoring of the ceasefire; keeping in mind the risk that this could still degenerate and go backwards if we do not show consistency and if we do not encourage enough the players on the ground – the military groups, the political actors – to engage, the regime first and foremost, to engage in meaningful political process.

We have had talks. I have had direct talks in recent days with all our partners, friends, interlocutors – not friends – both inside Syria and outside Syria in the region, to pass on the same message: to engage in the political process, to allow humanitarian access to improve and to work significantly to have the cessation of hostilities hold and improve day by day. Just yesterday, we discussed this with our Turkish partners and, if you look at the communiqué that came out of the Council yesterday night, you will also find a reference to the need to work together – Turkey and the European Union – to improve humanitarian conditions in more and more areas inside Syria. This is a common commitment we discussed with the Turkish yesterday.

Everyone must do their best at this time. We have opened a window – a very small one – and we have to make sure that it does not close but that it opens further on the three levels – humanitarian, military ceasefire and the political one. Let me take this opportunity here to thank Staffan de Mistura for the excellent coordination work that he is doing. We are in daily contact and the way in which we are working together with the United Nations in all these three aspects is really, I think, an example for our work also in other fields.

I think we have seen that diplomacy can work in recent experiences last year. We know that Daesh can be defeated and that it can be defeated only through a process that puts an end to the war in Syria and guarantees a transition in Damascus. We know that the war inside Syria can be over and forces can merge to fight terrorism – Daesh and al-Nusra – in the country. We have today the first steps in the right direction which are the result of the very determined – I would say stubborn – work we have done, coordinated with many others, starting with the USA. After five years of war diplomacy, including European diplomacy, is starting to bring some first results that, as I said, could turn back at any single moment if we do not have all the actors pushing in the same direction with the same stubbornness we have shown in recent months.

We need to continue to build on this to try to have a new Syria. Most likely the one that has been destroyed in five years of war will not come back with all its beauties, but maybe we can allow the Syrians to build their country again beyond ethnicity, religion or political creed, to be united, democratic, non—sectarian, not governed by the same men who presided over so many years of civil war, but with an inclusive governance guaranteeing all different Syrians to be part of the same country, with no space in it for Daesh and al-Nusra which have nothing to do with the history of the country and will have nothing to do with its future if we manage to work well together as we have done in recent weeks.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, au nom du groupe PPE. Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, je suis content de vous entendre insister sur le fait que le conflit dure déjà depuis cinq ans. Effectivement, durant cette longue période, les Syriens n'ont pas eu beaucoup de raisons d'espérer. Quand ils sont sortis dans la rue, il y a cinq ans, ce n'est pas ce à quoi ils s'attendaient. C'est donc pour cela, je crois, que le cessez-le-feu entré en vigueur le 27 février est un élément très important, et il l'est – là encore, je suis d'accord avec vous – parce qu'il permet l'accès à une aide humanitaire dont la population syrienne a désespérément besoin. Je me souviens que nous en avons parlé récemment quand vous êtes venue devant notre commission.

Le cessez-le-feu est également important, car il constitue une lueur d'espoir à laquelle il faut absolument se raccrocher dans cette perspective politique. Certes, le cessez-le-feu n'est pas parfait – on déplore encore des victimes –, mais il existe. Il est généralement respecté, et c'est à nous de saisir cette opportunité pour la transformer en une transition politique crédible. "Transition politique crédible" ne veut pas dire, bien sûr, "élections immédiates" comme Al—Assad ou Poutine l'ont suggéré. C'est bien sûr inacceptable. Il faut que nous concentrions nos efforts sur le processus de paix, et c'est au moment où la stabilité sera entièrement rétablie que des élections pourront être organisées.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. Mr President, first please allow me to congratulate the Vice-President/High Representative for launching this fundamentally important initiative and for the very wise way in which to coordinate us, as Europe, with other major international and regional actors in order to try to fix this long-lasting conflict.

The last ten days have been the quietest for most Syrians in the last five years, but this could help to build up a momentum behind the peace talks in this war-torn country and allow the international talks set to start tomorrow to resume soon. There is no real alternative but the political solution and we need a strong political will and commitment to make it.

A political solution in Syria will allow the international community to concentrate on what is most important: fighting Daesh and all other terrorist groups and stopping them from spreading and bringing more war and suffering to the entire region. Finding a solution for Syria will allow Syrians to stay in their homes and not further risk their lives in coming to Europe or elsewhere. The participation of the moderate Syrian opposition in the international talks is essential and should be guaranteed. Therefore we condemn any actions against moderate Syrian opposition forces and against the town of Aleppo that could undermine the ceasefire and equally the international talks.

The reduction in violence also allowed the dispatch of humanitarian aid and convoys to the population in need. Nevertheless, this has to continue and the Syrian Government has to cooperate and further facilitate the aid. It goes without saying that unless the talks bring results the humanitarian crisis will continue. The boundaries between these various conflicts in Syria are often vague and belong to different actors. It is so important for all sides, including Turkey and Russia, to stick to UN resolution 2254. Objectives: combating terrorist groups and allowing a solution for Syria.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. Mr President, the Munich-agreed fragile ceasefire prevailing now in Syria offers the international community the political opportunity to press strongly and implement the original UN Geneva peace agreements. It is an important step forward, establishing a lasting settlement based on an inclusive government in Damascus that can represent all Syrians. However, attaining detente between Syria’s warring factions, and ultimately the cessation of the brutal proxy civil war, hinges on Russia’s political and military interventions. We share with Russia the common objective of eliminating the evil scourge of ISIS and other extreme radical Islamist groups in Syria. Yet, under the bargain, Russia must also honour its obligations, demonstrate its compliance and avoid further provocation by ceasing attacks against all anti-Assad Syrian civilians and moderate opposition groups and desist from helping to create a greater refugee exodus in order to destabilise Europe and get payback against Chancellor Merkel and the EU sanctions. As the peace process gathers momentum, Moscow must realize that its behaviour will be closely scrutinised. Only with Russia playing its role as a responsible international interlocutor and actor can peace be brought to this blighted country.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. Mr President, every effort to stop the war in Syria through negotiation must be supported, but not every outcome can be accepted. The cessation of hostilities is very fragile but it must be a step towards a ceasefire because the appalling violence, death, destruction, starvation and the extraordinary human suffering has gone on for far too long. The Syrian people deserve more support from us and we must strengthen our negotiating and leadership position. Had we developed a strong common and comprehensive EU strategy towards Syria earlier, we would have played a role of leadership and not merely be first in facing the consequences of inaction.

The EU is most noticeable in its divisions and its struggle to offer humane shelter to those fleeing the war, many of whom are Syrians. Yes, we are key for humanitarian aid but we need more efforts to stop this suffering at its source. Meanwhile, Russia continues to help Assad and create new realities on the ground and then negotiates for humanitarian aid. Putin jumped into the vacuum using the most cynical and brutal violence of bombing hospitals, civilians and rebels that share our agenda in fighting the so-called Islamic State – or Daesh – and this kind of behaviour led by Putin’s Russia must have a price. I believe we need EU sanctions for the violence used in Syria.

I have a few brief questions for the High Representative. After we heard that the continuation of talks has been delayed and will not start tomorrow but on Monday, independent and credible monitoring of the cessation agreement and of aid delivery becomes even more important. How was this organised, and are food drops being considered for those suffering the most? You mentioned the packages on Lebanon and Jordan. Is this enough? I worry a great deal about the situation in Lebanon, while so much attention goes to Turkey. We cannot afford Lebanon to collapse. Lastly, how will you use your leverage and contacts with the Iranian leaders to ensure they play a more responsible role and stop supporting the brutal Assad regime?

 
  
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  Marisa Matias, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. Obrigada, Senhora Mogherini, pelos esclarecimentos que aqui trouxe. De facto estamos numa fase diferente de cessar-fogo, mas é frágil, e não só frágil, como é uma situação muito complexa e não foi preciso muito tempo para começar a ver, desde logo, mais interferências e mais ingerências, nomeadamente a Arábia Saudita que quer impor condições que me parece, aliás, uma das razões pelas quais se adia, mais uma vez, a ronda de negociações. Condições que querem impor exclusividade, por exemplo, das oposições que estão representadas, excluindo, por exemplo, uma parte fundamental, como são os sírios curdos. Dito isto, já houve posições de todos os lados, dos Estados Unidos, da Rússia.

Eu quero reforçar aquela que foi a posição de Staffan de Mistura, o mediador das Nações Unidas, que me parece a mais razoável de todas. Quer dizer, esta é uma questão síria e qualquer solução que seja encontrada depende apenas e exclusivamente do povo sírio e pergunto—lhe, Senhora Mogherini, quando é que a União Europeia terá uma posição autónoma que não dependa da vontade dos Estados Unidos, não dependa da vontade da Arábia Saudita, não dependa da vontade ou das condições das outras partes que não seja apenas exclusivamente do povo sírio, porque isso, sim, vai determinar se há sucesso ou não nestas negociações.

 
  
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  Barbara Lochbihler, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. Herr Präsident! Das Waffenstillstandsabkommen in Syrien hält, aber es ist brüchig, und es bleibt zu hoffen, dass die Ende der Woche in Genf angesetzten Friedensgespräche auch stattfinden. Ganz wichtig wird es für die Friedensverhandlungen sein, dass sie inklusiv sind und dass das für alle Bevölkerungsgruppen gilt, einschließlich der Kurden.

Während der bisherigen Vorbereitungen der Friedensgespräche haben Frauen – auch auf Seiten der Opposition – lediglich die Rolle von Statistinnen eingenommen. Ich möchte heute, am Internationalen Frauentag, den Blick auf die Frauen lenken, die sich sowohl dem Terror des Assad-Regimes als auch dem der dschihadistischen Gruppen widersetzen. Die Journalistin Zaina Erhaim aus Aleppo hat diesen Frauen mit ihrem Film „Rebellinnen“ ein Denkmal gesetzt. Der Film erzählt von mutigen Frauen, die als Sanitäterinnen im Kampfgebiet arbeiten oder Selbsthilfe für Frauen organisieren.

Ich möchte an die vielen Frauen erinnern, die für ihren Mut mit dem Leben bezahlt haben, zum Beispiel an die kurdische Bloggerin Rukia Hassan, die über ihr Leben unter der Herrschaft des Islamischen Staates in Rakka berichtete und ermordet wurde. Ich hoffe, dass in den Friedensverhandlungen die Frauen von der Seite der EU gefördert werden, dass sie auch in dem politischen Prozess ein Mitreden haben.

Angesichts der ungezählten Verbrechen, die in Syrien an Frauen, Männern und Kindern begangen wurden und werden, muss die Position der EU deutlich und entschieden sein. Einen dauerhaften Frieden kann es in Syrien erst dann geben, wenn die Verantwortlichen für diese Verbrechen zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, gentile Alto Rappresentante, qualche timido segnale lo stiamo vedendo. La tregua risulta, anche se violata più volte, globalmente sembra che stia reggendo e sempre più fazioni ribelli stanno aderendo anche ai negoziati. Ed è senz'altro molto positivo il nuovo clima di collaborazione tra Russia e Stati Uniti così come, lo sottolineo, la vittoria dei riformisti in Iran, che può ulteriormente spingere verso una soluzione negoziale.

Il problema più grande resta, forse, l'atteggiamento ben poco cooperativo di altri alleati a queste sue fazioni, in particolare mi riferisco ai turchi e all'Arabia Saudita. Infatti, in particolare l'agenda turca, la vedo ben poco allineata alla nostra politica estera, visto l'obiettivo prioritario di avere un controllo diretto sul Kurdistan siriano e che viene portato avanti anche con intensi bombardamenti, proprio contro quelle milizie curde che invece stanno combattendo Daesh. Tra l'altro, vedo ancora troppi pochi sforzi seri e credibili per bloccare il traffico di petrolio clandestino, che è una delle principali fonti di reddito per Daesh.

Il rischio di una nostra accondiscendenza alle richieste turche, con un nuovo accordo per ulteriori 3 miliardi e di ulteriori concessioni, tra cui l'apertura dei capitoli negoziali, non vorrei fosse frainteso come un segnale di debolezza, con il quale sembriamo un po' appaltare alla Turchia alla gestione della crisi migratoria che non stiamo riuscendo a ottenere sul piano interno, passando magari sotto silenzio quello che sta accadendo nel sud est della Turchia stessa e nel Kurdistan siriano.

Penso che invece bisognerebbe rafforzare ulteriormente i due pacchetti di cui lei parlava prima per quanto riguarda il Libano e la Giordania, che stanno facendo degli sforzi notevoli, e soprattutto il ruolo dell'Unione deve essere ancora più fondamentale, non solo per gli aiuti umanitari e per la futura ricostruzione ma per una Roadmap per una tregua definitiva e un processo politico, ragion per cui quindi questi nostri principali alleati devono essere parte della soluzione e non parte del problema.

Dobbiamo spingere molto in questo senso.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. Monsieur le Président, Madame la Commissaire, je ferai deux remarques. La première concerne la Turquie. Voilà un pays qui est contre la démocratie, nous le voyons avec les événements récents, qui soutient l'islamisme – maintenant, tout le monde le reconnaît –, qui est contre le droit international en Iraq, en Syrie, et qui soutient aussi le crime organisé. Pourtant, vous voulez soumettre l'Europe – peut-être parce que c'est l'intérêt de l'Allemagne ou celui d'une chancelière qui a trahi son peuple et l'Europe – à des accords avec un pays qui ne répond en aucun cas aux critères européens. Trouvez-vous cela normal? Ne craignez-vous pas que les pays se révoltent et fassent éclater l'Europe?

La deuxième remarque concerne notre moralisme. Il a échoué face à la vérité et à la réalité. Notre moralisme a été celui de la soumission face au maître, les États-Unis, face à ceux qui paient – le Qatar, l'Arabie saoudite – ou face au chantage et à la dhimmitude. Il est un peu normal que, dans ces conditions, nous jouions le rôle de strapontin. C'est le prix qu'il faut payer quand on refuse la réalité.

 
  
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  Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NI). Pani Mogherini! Kilka słów prawdy, męskich słów prawdy: Rosja wkroczyła do Syrii i dzięki temu mamy teraz zawieszenie broni. Miejmy nadzieję, że Rosja się nie wycofa. Miejmy też nadzieję, że Amerykanie nauczyli się już, czym się kończy obalanie dyktatorów w Libii, w Iraku, jak wiele setek tysięcy albo milionów zginęło w wyniku obalenia dyktatorów. Tylko dyktator może utrzymać w ręku taki kraj, gdzie są alawici, chrześcijanie, bahaici, druzowie, szyici. Myśl o wyborach w takiej sytuacji, gdzie stoi uzbrojony Daish u bram, gdzie walczy al Nusra, jest kompletnym absurdem – wprowadzanie demokracji w takim momencie. Jak jest wojna, to musi być dyktator.

Rozmawiając z Kurdami, którzy tutaj przyjechali, tłumaczyłem im, że muszą dojść do porozumienia z Assadem. Powiedzieli, że nie. Potem pojechałam do Damaszku i tam tłumaczyłem to ludziom Assada, że powinni rozmawiać z Kurdami. Powiedzieli, że nie. A teraz już się z sobą dogadują. I w tym jest nadzieja. Ale problem leży w Turcji: jedyne, co może zrobić Unia Europejska, to przekupić jakoś Turków, żeby nie zniszczyli tego kruchego porozumienia, które się tam w Syrii dokonuje.

 
  
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  Mariya Gabriel (PPE). Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, oui, des progrès ont été réalisés en Syrie. L'accès humanitaire, la cessation des hostilités sont d'importants pas en avant. Mais attention, la situation reste fragile, vous l'avez dit, ce qui demande toute notre mobilisation.

J'ai deux remarques et une question. Ma première remarque: en cette Journée internationale de la femme, l'envoyé spécial des Nations unies, Staffan de Mistura, l'a rappelé, les femmes syriennes font partie intégrante d'une solution durable. Elles ont le droit de participer et nous le devoir d'assurer leur participation au processus de paix. De manière générale, nous savons combien il est crucial que le dialogue inter-syrien soit le plus inclusif possible.

Deuxième remarque: si l'absence d'implication militaire directe de l'Union européenne nous a exclus des négociations sur la cessation des hostilités, sur le plan des négociations politiques, ce doit être notre force. Dans le cas syrien, comme, plus généralement, au Moyen-Orient, l'Union européenne doit avoir l'ambition d'être une force d'équilibrage et nous vous remercions, Madame la Haute représentante, pour tous les efforts que vous faites dans cette direction.

Ma question n'est pas dans l'urgence, mais je pense que notre force doit être l'anticipation. Notre ambition commune est la tenue d'élections. Comment anticiper les difficultés de l'organisation d'un tel scrutin, avec plus de 11 millions de personnes déplacées en Syrie et dans les pays voisins? Les pays d'accueil soutiennent-ils pleinement cet objectif?

(L'oratrice accepte de répondre à une question "carton bleu" (article 162, paragraphe 8, du règlement))

 
  
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  Tibor Szanyi (S&D), Kékkártyás kérdés. Képviselő Asszony, Ön szerintem igen helyesen vázolta a helyzetet. Én egy picit továbblépnék a kérdésemben: vajon Ön a szíriai érintett felekkel, illetve az Európai Unió érintett, illetve az összes tagországán túlmenően nem látja-e, hogy itt azért az oroszoknak is van ám felelőssége? Minekután ma már az orosz bombázások miatt sajnos több menekült keletkezik, mint amennyi a belső problémákból egyáltalán valaha adódott volna. Így kérdezem, hogy Ön hogyan gondolja bevonni az orosz felet ebbe az egész rendezésbe?

 
  
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  Mariya Gabriel (PPE), réponse "carton bleu". Monsieur le Président, je pense que, dans cette situation, nous devons nous rappeler le message que la haute représentante nous a adressé: attention, la situation peut se détériorer très vite. Soyons donc très vigilants par rapport aux accusations, et par rapport aux jugements. L'une des grandes leçons à tirer de ce qui se passe en Syrie est que ce n'est que si tous ensemble, de concert – toute la communauté internationale –, nous assumons nos responsabilités avec une vision très concrète, que nous parviendrons à rétablir durablement la paix et la stabilité dans cette région.

 
  
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  Richard Howitt (S&D). Mr President, for too long, when we debate Syria in this Chamber, there has been only despair. Before last week, once again, sceptics said that the ceasefire in Syria would not hold and humanitarian assistance would remain undelivered. Thankfully, although there have been incidents to the contrary, the sceptics have been proved wrong. Civilian deaths have fallen by 90% since the truce came into force, according to media reports just this morning. Our task politically this week and in the weeks to follow is to keep trying to turn despair into hope. The High Representative should have the European Parliament’s full support to use the international collaboration that we have achieved to make tentative moves which could turn a temporary ceasefire into a permanent peace.

In the remainder of this speech I apologise both to colleagues and perhaps most of all to those who are suffering in Syria, because I have to refer to a different type of sceptic: those who, I am disgusted to say, are from my own country and are seeking to exploit the tragic flow of refugees from Syria by turning it into a cynical political argument to inflame opposition to my country’s membership of the European Union. Like Boris Johnson, who referred to the sincere compassion for Syrian refugees as ‘Britain-bashers’ moral outrage’ and then repeated the deliberate myth that ‘many of them are arriving in Europe as economic migrants’. Or the leader of UKIP, who by saying that ISIS is using this route to put jihadists on European soil is giving publicity and encouragement to the very people he says he wants to deter. These people are contemptible. They will fail on Syria, just as sceptics about Syria will fail. There is genuine compassion in the European Parliament in the matter of solving this refugee crisis. They will not win. My country will remain a member of the European Union, and European efforts, rather than those of any one country on its own, are needed to respond to the humanitarian crisis that is the tragedy of Syria and to contribute to the peace which is necessary to end this conflict.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card questions under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Paul Nuttall (EFDD), blue-card question. Well, maybe Mr Howitt knows something that we do not, but is he disagreeing with the First Vice-President of the Commission, Mr Timmermans, who has said that most of the people who are entering Europe are from Syria? Does he also disagree with official asylum figures in the UK, which say that the most of the people who came to the UK and claimed asylum last year actually came from Eritrea and not Syria? Mr Howitt, you are scaremongering and you are playing a political game. So please answer. Do you disagree with Mr Timmermans and are you disagreeing with official British asylum figures?

 
  
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  Richard Howitt (S&D), blue-card answer. Whether it is the Commission or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the major country of origin for a million refugees who have come to Europe is Syria. The majority are genuine refugees fleeing war, death and persecution. They are victims of a six-year bloody civil war and this European Union will contribute to international diplomacy to deal with peace and conflict resolution. We reject the arguments on the other side.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR). Mr President, a ‘partial ceasefire’ was the best description I have heard of the deal: ‘partial’ in terms of the stakeholders included, as well as in the territorial scope. Allow me to mention the firm results: increasing the role of al—Assad, reinstating Russia in international salons and bringing Iran to the region. Other effects are less obvious. Unfortunately, Daesh is going to operate beyond state borders and we were not notified about the organisation’s will to quit atrocities.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D), blue-card question. As you mentioned the atrocities which took place in Syria and Iraq, do you not think that the European Union – through its two members of the Security Council, the UK and France – should call for an international criminal tribunal for Syria and Iraq to be set up in order to hold the leaders of Daesh accountable, in the near future, for their atrocities and genocide, especially against national minorities like the Azeris and Christians?

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR), blue-card answer. Thank you, colleague, yes I share your view.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE). Mr President, five years of our confusion and inaction have led us to where we are now: a situation where a sort of ceasefire – on whatever conditions – is in place. Frankly, to me the situation looks like a Syrian puzzle being made by Putin’s hands. He is the one acting on both sides by not stopping Russian citizens joining ISIS and then coming to back Assad; who bombs opposition, civilians and hospitals; who intentionally pushes massive flows of refugees; who feeds radical parties inside the EU; who creates fake propaganda stories.

Let us be frank, Moscow has given the West a very good lesson as regards our claims that there is no military solution in Syria, as completely the opposite has been proven so far. Clearly, any ceasefire is better than a war. The question remains: what is the price for it and at whose expense?

 
  
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  Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL). Señor Presidente, señora Alta Representante, el cese de hostilidades es una buena noticia, sobre todo porque conduce a lo que queremos, que es un arreglo político que dé paso a una paz duradera que garantice la existencia del Estado sirio y que no se rompa como otros precedentes.

Siempre hemos apoyado al señor de Mistura, pero hay que recordar quién no. Habría que ver el diario de sesiones de hace dos o tres años o las declaraciones de algunos dirigentes que decían qué bien lo estaba haciendo Al-Nusra, es decir Al-Qaeda, o la coalición anti-Dáesh —65 países que no cambiaron nada—.

Ahora han cambiado las tornas y estamos viendo que haría falta un papel independiente de la Unión Europea y la mejor manera es que les digamos a nuestros socios entre comillas, al Gobierno de Arabia Saudí y al Gobierno turco, que dejen de financiar, de tolerar y, sobre todo al Gobierno turco, de romper la tregua, como hizo ayer mismo. Hay que ir a Ginebra, siempre lo hemos dicho, con presencia del gobierno y de la oposición no terrorista.

 
  
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  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). Mr President, I say to Ms Mogherini: thank you for a very impressive update on the situation in Syria and I echo your comments and praise for Mr de Mistura. If anything, you were rather modest about your own role in this, and the role of your services and the European Union in cohering the international community into values-based cooperation. The EU does not do guns and tanks and bombs, thank goodness, but we can play a role acting together to facilitate a dialogue which goes somewhere. I very strongly endorse Mr Howitt’s position, from my party, the Scottish National Party, in making sure that we as the United Kingdom continue to remain part of that framework.

You are right: the cooperation is starting to deliver. That is the best description of it. There is an immediate humanitarian crisis, and I entirely support your efforts on that. I am also very keen to stress the support for Lebanon and Jordan; these are fragile states that need our total support. My question would be about accountability: there can be no peace without accountability on all sides, for all crimes in this conflict. I am glad to hear of the reopening of the Damascus office of ECHO. But my question would be: to what extent are your services assisting NGOs – or indeed individuals – domestically and internationally in gathering the evidence that we will need to ensure that accountability is part of Syria’s eventual solution?

 
  
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  Paul Nuttall (EFDD). Mr President, as we know, Syria is probably the most serious issue that the world faces today. We have seen the evilness of Islamic State. We have seen the televised burnings, we have seen the drownings, the beheadings, and the throwing of people off roofs for simply being homosexual and, if they do not die, kicking them to death on the ground. It is these extremists who want to take over control, not just of Syria, but the whole region.

But let us not forget that back in 2013 we had all Western politicians, including John McCain and our own foreign policy genius, Guy Verhofstadt, telling us that we must arm these rebels – these nice cuddly rebels – who included the al-Nusra Front and the Syrian Mujahideen. Thank God that did not happen. I would simply like to ask Ms Mogherini why we continue to do nothing about Saudi Arabia and why we are continuing to throw money at Turkey and are inviting Turkey to join the European Union when they are the funders of terrorism.

 
  
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  Franz Obermayr (ENF). Herr Präsident! Die Union versucht jetzt, mit Milliardenzahlungen die Gunst der Türkei zu erkaufen, und erliegt dabei einem großen Irrtum. Die Türkei ist weder politisch noch militärisch und schon gar nicht von der Religion her ein wünschenswerter Partner im syrischen Friedensprozess. Die Bekämpfung der kurdischen Unabhängigkeitsbewegung wurde seitens der Türkei schon vor Monaten auf das syrische Gebiet ausgeweitet, und zwar mithilfe protürkischer Milizen, die sich ungehindert im Grenzgebiet bewegen. Unter Verletzung des Völkerrechts begann die Türkei Mitte Februar, syrisches Territorium zu beschießen.

Washington schickte zwar eine Protestnote nach Ankara und forderte den unverzüglichen Stopp der Angriffe. Aber ich frage mich: Wo bleibt die Reaktion der Union? Statt dem Regime Erdoğan wegen der Unterdrückung der Minderheiten und der Schwächung eines militärischen Partners entsprechend Maßregeln zu setzen, biedert man sich hier weiterhin an. Das ist doppelzüngig, falsch und sicherlich kein Weg zum Frieden in Syrien.

 
  
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  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). Señor Presidente, el acuerdo de alto el fuego en Siria en un paso esperanzador y confío en que sea reforzado por las próximas conversaciones en Ginebra.

El alto el fuego no es absoluto —como se ha dicho—, pero la violencia se ha reducido considerablemente. En fin, son buenas noticias.

Es cierto que el alto el fuego tampoco es la solución del conflicto. Necesitamos que las próximas negociaciones permitan avanzar hacia una solución política en los términos acordados en el Comunicado de Ginebra de 2012 y la Resolución 2254 del Consejo de Seguridad.

La falta de avances en el terreno político favorecería la consolidación de grupos como el Dáesh y el agravamiento de la crisis humanitaria, lo que ha tenido —todo ello— un impacto tan negativo en la Unión Europea.

Estamos en un momento crucial y yo celebro, señora Mogherini, su compromiso con el apoyo e impulso de las conversaciones de Ginebra y con el alivio de la grave situación humanitaria que aqueja a la población siria. Pero también sabemos que es necesario que las partes sirias enfrentadas y los actores internacionales y regionales estén a la altura de las circunstancias para que el conflicto en Siria se encamine, por fin, hacia una solución estable y se ponga fin a cinco años de enfrentamiento.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). Desde 2011 vimos a revolta do povo sírio contra o ditador Assad ser transformada em guerra civil pela guerra sectária e por procuração entre a Arábia Saudita e o Irão, pelo apoio da Turquia à infiltração de grupos terroristas, resultando na destruição do país, em sofrimento humano insuportável, na maior catástrofe humanitária desde a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Tudo às portas da Europa mas com a Europa a leste. A intervenção russa veio expor o vazio e o desconcerto europeu.

Cinco anos em que os Estados-Membros foram incapazes de atuar coordenada e estrategicamente, quer através da política externa e de segurança comum para a resolução negociada do conflito, de uma política comum de segurança e defesa que ajudasse curdos, iraquianos e sírios no combate contra os ocupantes terroristas e que securizasse as zonas libertadas para as populações deslocadas ou sequer uma política de emergência humanitária capacitada para criar condições de vida nos campos de refugiados, incluindo educação para crianças e jovens.

Não alimentamos apenas as razões porque milhares de fugitivos todos os dias procuram refúgio na Europa. Estamos a oferecer mais gerações perdidas ao recrutamento extremista e terrorista. Este conflito abriu portas à hidra terrorista, além da Síria e do Iraque, também já na Líbia, onde ameaça diretamente a nossa própria segurança. A União Europeia não pode continuar em negação e alimentar a ilusão de que pode conter o conflito nas fronteiras e outsource os refugiados que fogem dele para a Turquia e outros vizinhos.

Cumprimento a Sra. Mogherini por pôr a União Europeia, finalmente, a pressionar um acordo de cessar-fogo, mas Munique não vai durar sem sentar também à mesa os curdos. Não basta gerir a crise, é preciso tratar as causas de fundo. Para isso precisamos de uma Europa solidária e com forte liderança política.

O negócio imoral que o Conselho Europeu parece ter feito ontem com a Turquia de Erdogan, desgraçadamente, não deixa antever essa liderança de que tanto precisamos.

 
  
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  Bas Belder (ECR). Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, in uw introductie tot dit debat refereerde u aan gesprekken die u gisteren met uw Turkse partners heeft gevoerd.

Er zijn een drietal recente gebeurtenissen die mij zorg baren, vanwaar dan ook mijn vraag: hoe duidt u nu eigenlijk de Turkse rol in de regionale oorlog die momenteel in Syrië woedt?

Tot tweemaal toe hebben vanaf Turks grondgebied honderden zwaar bewapende jihadisten, of ze nu van Jabhat Al-Nusra waren of van de Islamitische Staat, aanvallen gepleegd op Koerdische eenheden. De ene keer bij de stad Azaz, de tweede keer bij de stad Tel Abyad. Turks grondgebied wordt dus gebruikt als uitvalsbasis voor jihadisten in die oorlog. Tot slot een derde gebeurtenis: op 28 februari hielden de Griekse autoriteiten een schip aan dat vanuit Turkije - beladen met zware wapens - op weg was naar Libanon.

Mevrouw Mogherini, ik heb het idee dat Turkije meer het probleem is dan de oplossing voor de crisissituatie rondom heel deze Syrische regionale oorlog.

 
  
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  Ivo Vajgl (ALDE). Po veliko letih smo prišli do tega, da humanitarno katastrofo rešujemo ali pa vsaj poskušamo rešiti paralelno s političnim procesom, ki naj pripelje do miru v Siriji.

Humanitarna katastrofa je posledica napačne politike, tudi naše, v odnosu na kompleksnost Sirije. Nismo razumeli, kam pelje začetek zaostrovanja v Siriji.

Imamo gotovo, kot ste rekli, tri pozitivne stvari v tem trenutku. Eno je premirje, drugo je koordinacija med Združenimi državami Amerike in Rusijo in tretje inkluzivnost v pogajanjih, v katerih sodelujejo tudi Rusi, tudi Asad.

Rekli ste, da nismo v hladni vojni. Bojim se, da po retoriki nekaterih kolegov, ki se ne morejo usmeriti na Sirijo, ampak polemizirajo s Putinom – popolnoma nepotrebno v tej situaciji, da pravzaprav v tej hladni vojni tičimo.

Mislim, da končni cilj, ki si ga moramo zastaviti, je demokratična Sirija. Mogoče pa bi bilo prav, da mi v Evropi že začenjamo razmišljati o tem, kaj bo po vojni v Siriji, namreč proces sprave.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono convinto che in Siria, seppur con la tregua fragile, si è venuta a creare una straordinaria opportunità per l'Unione europea e, dopo cinque difficilissimi anni di conflitto ed emergenze umanitarie, il momentaneo congelamento della violenza consente un intervento umanitario molto più vasto e mirato, ma anche il rilancio di un processo politico che deve mettere al lato, per così dire, i preconcetti e dare l'opportunità ai siriani di cominciare a pensare ad un futuro costruito in primis da loro stessi.

Penso che l'Unione europea abbia portato avanti per mesi un lavoro straordinario in sede ONU. Adesso deve dimostrare di essere all'altezza di un rinnovato ruolo da protagonista. Deve quindi assumersi la responsabilità cruciale di guidare una risposta umanitaria all'altezza delle condizioni venutesi a creare, pur essendo doveroso sottolineare che l'Unione europea, con più di 5 miliardi di euro destinati all'assistenza umanitaria, è il primo donatore regionale, ma anche continuare ad agire diplomaticamente per creare ponti tra gli attori internazionali e regionali e locali coinvolti nel conflitto.

Come giustamente ha sottolineato lei proprio in questa sede, in Siria c'è una forte richiesta di presenza politica europea, in un contesto dove la nostra credibilità ha un peso specifico tangibile. Queste opportunità, e la speranza che esse rappresentano per la Siria uno slancio verso una pacificazione nazionale, si inseriscono in un quadro regionale dove l'Unione Europea ha già dimostrato di poter assumere un ruolo importante, come nel caso del nucleare iraniano.

Comunque, quanto fatto finora non può bastare. Infatti, temo che l'Unione europea sia sempre più ripiegata su se stessa, come dimostra la gestione della crisi dei rifugiati. Dobbiamo dare una vera sterzata al complesso della politica estera europea che, mantenendo i suoi valori di fondo, deve intraprendere una direzione finalmente univoca e dimostrare coerenza. Se come europei vogliamo avere un ruolo decisivo in Siria, dobbiamo essere pronti a rinunciare agli egoismi nazionali, alle ambiguità di taluni paesi e iniziare a pensare in grande, favorendo il processo di pace più che mai oggi indispensabile.

 
  
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  Mirosław Piotrowski (ECR). Wojna w Syrii trwa od pięciu lat i pochłonęła ponad ćwierć miliona osób. Dlatego z zadowoleniem przyjęliśmy rozejm w tym kraju na warunkach uzgodnionych przez USA i Rosję. Negocjacje w sprawie całkowitego zażegnania konfliktu prowadzone są pod auspicjami ONZ-u. Jesteśmy żywo zainteresowani stabilizacją w tym regionie, gdyż stanowi ona między innymi klucz do rozwiązania najpoważniejszego kryzysu migracyjnego, przed jakim stanęła Unia Europejska. Trwały pokój w Syrii oznacza przede wszystkim powstrzymanie mordów ludności cywilnej, w tym chrześcijan, a także realne zatamowanie strumienia imigrantów oraz konkretną możliwość ich powrotu do własnego kraju. Stąd dużym niepokojem napawają nas informacje, że pomimo zawartego rozejmu, w krótkim czasie zginęło znowu 135 osób, a na terytorium kontrolowanym przez terrorystów – ponad 550. Wobec tego Unia musi nadal aktywnie wspierać ONZ w wysiłkach pokojowych i nieść pomoc humanitarną, o której mówiła dziś pani Mogherini.

 
  
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  Javier Nart (ALDE). Señor Presidente, nuestra inacción ha provocado en este caso una situación de colapso en Siria. Hemos prolongado la guerra, no se ha dado una solución a los problemas que existen y nos encontramos hoy con algo que no nos gusta a ninguno, pero que es la realidad.

En una guerra, los protagonistas no son los que deseamos, sino los verdaderos. Y hoy los protagonistas son, por una parte, el régimen de Al-Asad, que es simultáneamente, de forma contradictoria, la garantía de su propia seguridad para las clases medias suníes, para los alauíes ciertamente, y también para los cristianos, confrontados con los wahabíes, bien terroristas de Yabhat al-Nusra o bien ―vamos a decir― los aliados de Occidente, Ahrar al-Sham, que son exactamente lo mismo, con más Yaish al-Islam.

Tenemos la absoluta necesidad de acudir a un proceso de paz y la necesidad, en consecuencia, de reconocer que ha sido la intervención rusa la que ha provocado, al final, que nos tengamos que poner de acuerdo.

Plantear una posición antirrusa primaria es negar una evidencia: cinco años de guerra han concluido con un cese al fuego a los pocos meses de la acción rusa, que significó el reforzamiento de un régimen criminal pero que existe, que es el de Al-Asad.

Impulsemos las negociaciones de paz, tengamos una presencia proactiva por parte de Europa y luchemos eficazmente contra el terrorismo, cosa que estratégicamente no hacemos.

 
  
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  Afzal Khan (S&D). Mr President, hundreds of Syrians nationwide used the cessation of hostilities to resume anti-government protests calling for the overthrow of Assad in favour of a free, democratic and united Syria. It was a reminder of how the conflict emerged in the spring of 2011. However, the reality is that this is not a cessation, but merely a reduction, of hostilities.

During the first week of the agreement, 135 people were killed in areas covered by the deal, and 32 of them were civilians. The violations must stop in order to create a favourable environment for the start of negotiations. The intra-Syrian negotiations have to resume in order to move forward into a comprehensive ceasefire and a long—overdue political transition as outlined in the Vienna Peace Agreement. It must be a Syrian-led and a Syrian-owned resolution.

The international community must work in good faith to implement the agreement alongside the agreement reached in Munich. Russia and Iran need to exert their influence over Syria’s regime and other parties to respect the truce. We need to seize this opportunity to make it work on all fronts – military, diplomatic and humanitarian. Progress in getting aid to besieged areas of Syria is welcome. There must be no obstruction of humanitarian aid, and full access must be allowed throughout Syria. The international community has to be much bolder in this approach.

We must not waste this chance; this needs to be the year in which the bloodshed in Syria comes to an end. It is our common goal to defeat Daesh and solve the refugee crisis. Therefore, it is in all our interests to support the Syrian peace process, which can lead to a stable, inclusive government and has the support of all Syrians.

(The speaker refused a blue-card question from Mr Buonnano)

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek (ECR). Mr President, I wish to thank the High Representative for her statement. We all agree that it is time for peace now in Syria, peace for everyone. Therefore, I call on you, High Representative, to make sure that a genuine delegation of Syrian Christians will be added to the Syrian Democratic Council delegation in peace talks. Several times I asked for attention for the democratic self-administration in north-eastern Syria in the Rojava canton. People are living peacefully in this region they have maintained by themselves. However, this peace is under threat not only from Daesh but also others. Turkey has to stop the shelling of DSA territory, otherwise we would see another massive wave of refugees floating to neighbouring countries and Europe. The Kurdish regional government in Iraq has to open the Faysh Khabur border crossing to the DSA area and end all restrictions. I therefore call on you to use all your diplomatic influence in the discussions with our Middle East partners. Last but not least, I would ask you to start cooperation with the DSA for aid to internally displaced people. We need to have them. They are the keepers of future stability in the region.

 
  
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  Ioan Mircea Paşcu (S&D). Mr President, Madam High Representative, the civil war in Syria has many implications for the EU: the refugee crisis, terrorism, negative impact on the regional situation, complicating relations with Russia, potential for escalation. The two recent ceasefire agreements have not yet been able to completely stop the fighting between the regime and the opposition and between the various factions forming that opposition. That is so primarily because there is no agreement among the intervening powers, both regional and extra-regional, on the future of the Assad regime and the ensuing betting on rival factions.

The solution, exclusively political, would have to be reached after a real ceasefire which would be motivated by humanitarian intervention to help the population caught in the fighting. In sum: from simple to complex and from humanitarian through the military to the political level seems to be the logical path, promising eventually a solution to this complicated and important conflict on our doorstep.

 
  
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  Arne Lietz (S&D). Herr Präsident, Hohe Vertreterin! Ich befürworte die aktuelle Waffenruhe, die bisher von allen wesentlichen Konfliktparteien weitestgehend eingehalten wurde.

Der nächste Schritt ist die Wiederaufnahme der Genfer Gespräche, die den Grundstein für eine längerfristige Befriedung des Landes legen sollen. In Ergänzung dazu müssen jedoch die begangenen Kriegsverbrechen durch Anwendung des internationalen Strafrechts geahndet werden. Ausdrücklich begrüße ich die Initiativen, wie die Kommission für internationale Gerechtigkeit und Rechenschaftspflicht. Sie wird unter anderem von Deutschland, den USA und der Europäischen Union unterstützt. Ihre Mitarbeiter sammeln und dokumentieren Beweismaterial über Menschenrechtsverletzungen im syrischen Bürgerkrieg.

Die Organisation hat bereits genügend Beweise gesammelt, um Machthaber Assad wegen Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit anzuklagen.

Sollte es zu einem Verfahren kommen, ist allerdings noch offen, welche juristische Instanz zuständig ist bzw. ob eine neue Instanz geschaffen werden muss. Die EU sollte alle beteiligten Mächte – allen voran die USA und Russland – dazu auffordern, Fragen des internationalen Strafrechts in den Genfer Verhandlungen mit zu berücksichtigen.

Allgemein sollte internationales Recht zu einem wesentlichen Bestandteil des außenpolitischen Instrumentenkastens der EU werden. Diktatoren müssen wissen, dass sie einen hohen Preis zahlen, wenn sie die Menschenrechte ihrer Bürger verletzen. Da sollte die Europäische Union Drittstaaten systematisch dazu auffordern, dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof beizutreten.

(Der Redner lehnt es ab, eine Frage von Herrn Buonanno nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 162 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
 

Procedura "catch-the-eye"

 
  
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  Csaba Sógor (PPE). Miközben felmérhetetlen szenvedéssel, egy ország majdnem teljes megsemmisülésével és emberek millióinak földönfutóvá válásával járt eddig a szíriai konfliktus, úgy tűnik, egyre nehezebb befejezni a háborút. Külső szemlélők számára úgy tűnik, hogy nemhogy közelebb kerültünk volna a megoldáshoz, hanem egyre messzebb kerülünk a békétől. Ha ugyanis az egyik fél – ha egyáltalán meg lehet fogalmazni ezt így – katonai fölényre tenne szert, akkor rögtön megérkeznek a vesztésre álló erők külföldi támogatói és új lendületet adnak a harcoknak. Mi itt Európában ebből csak annyit látunk, hogy mindenki a terrorizmus ellen harcol Szíriában, az emberek pedig menekülnek, lassan elvesztik a reményt, hogy egyszer még újjáépíthetik az országukat. Márpedig ha ez a remény végképp elvész, akkor lassan mindegy is, hogy ki győz, mert nem lesz lakosság.

És a Nemzetközi Nőnap alkalmával engedjék meg, hogy feleségeink, leányaink, a jelenlevő hölgyek mellett azokat a nőket köszöntsük, akik ma fegyverrel védik a családtagjaikat és a hazájukat valahol ott a szíriai határ közelében.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, σε σχέση με τη Συρία θα ήθελα καταρχάς να επισημάνω ότι υπήρξαν δυνάμεις της Δύσης και φυσικά και η Τουρκία και η Σαουδική Αραβία που στήριξαν το Daesh, δηλαδή στήριξαν το ακραίο σουνιτικό Ισλάμ, προκειμένου να χτυπηθούν οι Σιίτες και κυρίως ο Άσαντ, και γι’ αυτό ενισχύθηκε το Daesh. Αυτό πρέπει να το λάβουμε σοβαρά υπόψη. Η κατάσταση φυσικά στη Συρία είναι κρίσιμη. Πρέπει να ηττηθεί το Daesh. Πρέπει να υπάρξει ειρήνη. Και χωρίς ειρήνη, κυρία Mogherini, φυσικά θα συνεχίσουν να έρχονται χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες στην Ελλάδα. Έχουμε αυτή τη στιγμή 40.000. Εάν συνεχιστεί αυτή η κατάσταση, στο τέλος του μηνός θα έχουν εγκλωβιστεί 150.000 πρόσφυγες.

Εδώ μπαίνει το ερώτημα: Τα Σκόπια και η Αλβανία έχουν κλείσει τα σύνορα. Ο κ. Ban Ki-moon είπε ότι πρόκειται για παράνομη ενέργεια, ότι παραβιάζει το διεθνές δίκαιο. Εσείς από την πλευρά σας, ως Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ως Ύπατη Εκπρόσωπος, τι θα κάνετε; Πρέπει να αναλάβετε ενέργειες για να ανοίξουν τα σύνορα. Είναι παράνομο αυτό που γίνεται. Δεν μπορεί να εγκλωβίζονται χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες στην Ελλάδα. Δεν μπορεί η Ελλάδα να έχει μετατραπεί σε ένα προσφυγικό Νταχάου.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). Gospodine predsjedniče, krhko primirje kojem svjedočimo u Siriji sigurno je bolje od rata, i treba ga održati. I zato je dobro da ste uključena u ovaj proces poštovana visoka povjerenice, ali isto tako je dobro da su i SAD i Rusija našle rješenje. Međutim, budućnost ne može biti u njihovim rukama. Budućnost mora biti u rukama Sirijaca i mi moramo jasno reći da Sirija pripada njima i ne nekom drugom. I trebamo jasno reći da su naši neprijatelji prvenstveno Daesh i terorističke skupine koje su pokazale koliko su spremni zločina učiniti na ovome svijetu. Sve ostalo po mom dubokom uvjerenju treba prepustiti Sirijcima. Ako želimo ustanoviti međunarodni kazneni sud za ratne zločine u Siriji, učinimo to, jer i to može biti pravni put kojim se može razriješiti situacija. Ali, u svakom slučaju, prepustimo Siriju onima koji tamo žive.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η κατάπαυση του πυρός στη Συρία είναι το πρώτο ενθαρρυντικό μήνυμα, από την εποχή που άρχισε ο πόλεμος στη χώρα αυτή, ότι υπάρχει μια ελπίδα να εξομαλυνθεί η κατάσταση σε αυτήν την πολύπαθη περιοχή. Ήδη σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες έχουν μειωθεί κατά 90% οι απώλειες των αμάχων και κατά 80% οι απώλειες των εμπολέμων. Εκείνο το οποίο προκαλεί προβληματισμό είναι η απροθυμία της συριακής αντιπολιτεύσεως να συμμετάσχει στις ειρηνευτικές συνομιλίες στη Γενεύη.

Σε ό,τι αφορά την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, παρά το γεγονός ότι αυτή συμμετέχει ενεργά τόσο στην παροχή ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας όσο και στην κατάπαυση του πυρός, εντούτοις έχει απολέσει μια σημαντική ευκαιρία να αποτελέσει έναν σπουδαίο και σημαντικό παίκτη στην παγκόσμια σκακιέρα, διότι –ας είμαστε ειλικρινείς–, εάν δεν παρενέβαινε στρατιωτικά η Ρωσία, η Συρία θα είχε καταληφθεί από τις δυνάμεις του ISIS και θα είχε μεταβληθεί σε μια ακόμη ισλαμική χώρα η οποία θα ήταν εχθρική προς τη Δύση και επικίνδυνη για τα συμφέροντά της στην ευαίσθητη περιοχή της Μέσης Ανατολής.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). Senhor Presidente, seria bom se este acordo de cessar—fogo na Síria representasse o fim da mortífera guerra que leva já cinco anos, mas são frágeis as bases em que ele se sustenta. Dos Estados Unidos chegam notícias de uma aliança de falcões, defendendo uma escalada militar contra o Governo sírio e a Rússia, fazendo chegar mais armas ao terreno. Sejamos claros, este acordo de cessar-fogo resulta da situação dramática em que estão os bandos terroristas no terreno, fruto da colaboração militar entre o Governo sírio e os seus aliados russos e iranianos e do Hezbollah. Terroristas, é bom lembrá-lo, a soldo dos Estados Unidos e dos seus aliados, uma espécie de legião estrangeira americana, como alguém já sugeriu.

Quanto às vagas de refugiados que todos os dias nos chegam à Europa, elas são como pedras atiradas à cara da União Europeia, a recordar-lhe as suas próprias responsabilidades na operação de desestabilização, ingerência e guerra levada a cabo na Síria. Para além da vergonha que foi a cimeira de ontem, ao ouvi-la hoje aqui a falar sobre coisas que apenas ao povo sírio cabe decidir, tememos, Senhora Vice-Presidente, que nada se tenha aprendido com tudo isto.

 
  
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  Klaus Buchner (Verts/ALE). Herr Präsident! Hohe Vertreterin, danke für Ihren wichtigen Bericht. Danke auch für Ihren großen Einsatz für die Friedensverhandlungen und für die Verbesserung der humanitären Hilfe. Aber gerade hier ist das, was die Kommission macht, bei Weitem nicht genug. Solange es noch Hunger in den Flüchtlingslagern gibt und solange die Menschen dort nicht genug vor Kälte geschützt sind, müssen wir auch mehr Geld geben – wir als EU und als Kommission. Wir sollten nicht der Türkei Geld geben, damit sie eine Mauer baut, um sich vor den Flüchtlingen zu schützen. Ist es nicht viel sinnvoller, das Geld in die Lager zu geben, damit die Leute überhaupt keinen Grund haben, zu fliehen, damit sie dort überleben können? Ich bitte Sie also dringend, sich dafür einzusetzen, dass wenigstens die nötigsten Bedürfnisse der Leute in den Flüchtlingslagern vor Ort befriedigt werden.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch-the-eye")

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Mr President, I would like to start by saying to Members very sincerely that sometimes I have the impression that it is relatively easy to sit here and highlight all the shortcomings of a situation that I described myself as being very far from being – not even perfect – but good. It is as if we were complaining that this glass is half-full. It is actually much less than half-full. The point is that two weeks ago it was empty.

So our task is to try to build, drop by drop, a glass that is full and becomes a little bit fuller every day because every single drop is a life we save and every single life we save has a value, whether it is here in Europe, in the Aegean, inside Syria, in Lebanon or Jordan. So my job – I do not know about yours – is not to argue about whether this is perfect or not enough. My job is to try to make it better every day with what we can put at the disposal of an international community that needs to come together – finally –because five years of war are also the result of five years of international divisions and regional clashes on Syria, in Syria and around Syria.

So I really believe that the European Union’s role here is this: to try – as many of you have said – to bridge different agendas.

We have so many actors here – inside Syria and outside Syria – that have completely different agendas. We would disagree on almost everything but as our vital interests – political and, I would say, even moral – and also our interest as Europeans in security – because the longer the war lasts, the more Daesh spreads – and also in the refugee crisis – I know Frans Timmermans is having a debate on migration after me so I will not spoil his exercise and I will leave this aspect to him – but also our interest in relation to management of the flows, but first of all our humanitarian and political interest, is to try to identify the common ground among very different agendas. These are going to stay different, but maybe we can enlarge, step by step, the common ground that allows the international community and the regional players to facilitate, rather than make it impossible, for the Syrians to try to build peace instead of having five years of civil war.

So war is not over. We cannot even call it a ceasefire; we call it a cessation of hostilities and we had hours of discussion about the words here, just to let you understand how sensitive these things are. So it is clear that war is still there. It is not going to disappear next week and, as I said very clearly at the beginning, things can return to being very bad at any time if we do not continue to align all the possible elements that push in the right direction, which is a very complicated job to do every single day.

So what is still there? We have a cessation of hostilities. We are trying to open the spaces we have to have more and more humanitarian access, to have more and more delivery of humanitarian aid, and to have more hope for the Syrians.

One of you said that our task is to turn despair into hope. That is true and also to try to build bridges among the different actors, identifying common grounds – that is diplomacy and that is the European spirit.

Sometimes we have difficulty in doing this inside the EU; outside we still have a little bit of credibility in doing this and I will try to keep it – the inside might help, I have to say; sometimes that is not always the case.

We are trying to build the road towards peace, political transition inside Syria and a Syrian-led and a Syrian-owned future for the country. When we say Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, we are not referring only to the Syrians who are still inside Syria, but also those who have left Syria because they also have to have a say in the future – and the present – of their country.

So indeed, as Mr Preda was saying, we need to try to stick – and to push all the actors to stick – to the roadmap that we decided together, that was endorsed by a Security Council resolution, unanimously adopted for the first time. This is the precious result of the difficult work we have managed to build.

I heard some words about the lack of unity among the Europeans here. Let me tell you very clearly: I chair and participate in five different formations of the European Council, I take part in the European Commission College every week, I am very often here in Parliament – that it is quite clear and obviously you have divisions and different views – but on this the European Union is not only united in words and in thoughts, but is also acting united.

Every single week, every three to four days, we coordinate actions, messages and we coordinate our work every day in the task forces we are in. Do not portray the European Union as divided even if you do not really see the division here. There are fields where we are divided – plenty of them – but at least in the fields where we act together and we think together and we are politically on the same page, let us also try to highlight the positive that we have. We should at least do this ourselves because, if we do not do it ourselves, it is difficult for others to see this. But in this field – on our actions in Syria – we are indeed united and acting as Europe.

On three things, firstly Lebanon and Jordan, I agree one hundred percent – and even more – on the need to stress not only the financial support we can give them, but also the work we can do together to increase the resilience of societies and of their systems and to work together for this. I will visit Lebanon and Jordan in a couple of weeks’ time, 10 days, and this will be one of the elements of our common work. They sit, together with us, in the International Support Group. We work extremely well together with both Jordan and Lebanon because I believe we share the same objective, namely that of trying to find a solution to the war and for the country to move forward and find peace.

One other thing that was mentioned was accountability. This is something on which we are already starting to work, in particular with the NGOs that are working on the ground every single day. This is an issue which we can perhaps come back to in more detail at a later stage, either in plenary or in one of the committees. I would be glad to do so.

Let me finish with one element. Some of you referred to the role of women, especially on this particular day. I like to do it especially on the other days too, but it true that 8 March is somehow a very significant day. When we say that the future of Syria has to belong to all the citizens of Syria – all the Syrians inside and outside the country – we always also refer to women. When we say that we are thinking – not only thinking but trying to build a perspective – of a secular country in Syria, we also refer to the fact that so many women in Syria have expectations of the role they can play in their country. The work that we do with the NGOs in supporting their daily work, inside and outside Syria, with the Syrians, is partially, but significantly, going towards the work of NGOs that work on empowering women.

But let me also say something that I find really sad. I am sorry to finish on a sad note. Around the table of the International Support Group for Syria, I am the only woman sitting there. This perhaps gives the European Union a special role but it tells us a lot about the state of play of the role of women in international diplomacy still in such a large part of our international community – and not only in certain parts of the world but in many parts of the world, including the European Union.

To finish on a positive note, I will tell you that indeed, when women are not only at the table, but also in negotiating teams, as was the case for the Iranian deal, I think that we sometimes have better chances to build something, maybe pragmatic, maybe, as I said at the beginning, stubborn, but that at the end of the day might work.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  José Blanco López (S&D), por escrito. El sábado 27 de febrero entró en vigor el primer alto el fuego en cinco años de guerra en Siria, tras la aprobación unánime de la resolución 2268 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas. Es esencial que se cumpla para permitir el acceso y la distribución de la ayuda humanitaria sin obstáculos en toda Siria. Esta tregua permitirá a las Naciones Unidas volver a convocar las conversaciones entre los sirios en Ginebra y empezar a crear las condiciones para la transición política acordada por el Consejo de Seguridad. La comunidad internacional y las partes en el conflicto tienen la responsabilidad de cumplir con los mínimos acuerdos para salvar vidas, y llevar a Siria hacia una solución pacífica. La guerra ha producido ya más de cinco millones de refugiados, que deben ser tenidos en cuenta. La UE, junto a los Estados Unidos y Rusia, debe compartir información para vigilar el cumplimiento de la tregua y cooperar con las partes sirias, con exclusión de las organizaciones terroristas, para que se centren en la hoja de ruta de reformas hacia una nueva Siria. Nos unimos y apoyamos a las Naciones Unidas en declarar la necesidad de un «plan Marshall» para Siria.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE), in writing. 13 million people in need of humanitarian aid, 5 million of them children, more than 250 000 people killed, more than 4 million refugees and 9 million IDPs. In 2015, MSF medical facilities faced 94 aerial and shelling attacks. MSF also has recorded 74 mass casualty incidents, noting the increase from October last year. Observers state that all forces opposed to Assad are indiscriminately attacked, without making a difference between civilians and militants. Both governments also use cluster bombs, confirmed by numerous reports on the ground. Russia is not a solution: siding with Assad has made it a contributor to one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes since WWII. One should not forget that Russia’s strategic aim is destabilising Europe and NATO. Further, it lies within the responsibility of the EU not only to receive refugees, but also to create conditions in Syria, in the form of safe areas where people could live until they could return to their homes. Also, the EU and other states need to adequately finance the World Food Programme, which supports Syrian refugees in neighbouring states.

 
  
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  Elena Valenciano (S&D), por escrito. El sábado 27 de febrero entró en vigor el primer alto el fuego en cinco años de guerra en Siria, tras la aprobación unánime de la resolución 2268 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas. Es esencial que se cumpla para permitir el acceso y la distribución de la ayuda humanitaria sin obstáculos en toda Siria. Esta tregua permitirá a las Naciones Unidas volver a convocar las conversaciones entre los sirios en Ginebra y empezar a crear las condiciones para la transición política acordada por el Consejo de Seguridad. La comunidad internacional y las partes en el conflicto tienen la responsabilidad de cumplir con los mínimos acuerdos para salvar vidas, y llevar a Siria hacia una solución pacífica. La guerra ha producido ya más de cinco millones de refugiados, que deben ser tenidos en cuenta. La UE, junto a los Estados Unidos y Rusia, debe compartir información para vigilar el cumplimiento de la tregua y cooperar con las partes sirias, con exclusión de las organizaciones terroristas, para que se centren en la hoja de ruta de reformas hacia una nueva Siria. Nos unimos y apoyamos a las Naciones Unidas en declarar la necesidad de un «plan Marshall» para Siria.

 
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