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Posėdžio stenograma
Antradienis, 2017 m. gegužės 16 d. - Strasbūras Atnaujinta informacija

10. ES strategija dėl Sirijos (diskusijos)
Kalbų vaizdo įrašas

  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 la estrategia de la Unión para Siria [2017/2654(RSP)].


  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, thank you very much, and I apologise for the delay. We had a longer-than-expected college meeting and I apologise for that. I am particularly glad that we have the opportunity to again share in this Hemicycle the work we are doing on Syria – especially today, as the UN has reconvened the talks: intra-Syrian talks in Geneva just started this morning. I spoke just a couple of hours ago with Staffan de Mistura again, the UN Special Envoy, who has this morning concluded the first renewed round of talks with the Syrian parties, for a new round aiming at entering into the substance of the political transition, including on constitutional setup. This is the process on which and in which the European Union is investing, supporting the intra-Syrian talks, the UN facilitation and the work of the Syrian opposition, the civil society, especially the women of Syria – work that we support every day with our teams, both in Geneva and in Brussels, but also in the region.

So the European Union has a special role to play, to help the Syrian people end the war in their country. The European Union is not a military actor in Syria. I know some might argue that this makes us a less powerful player in the region. Even if, as you know well, I always value a lot whenever we manage or we decide to use also our hard power in some situations that require this, I strongly believe that the fact that we are not a military player in the Syrian crisis makes us stronger in the political context of trying to solve the problem and the crisis there, exactly because we have not taken part in the devastation of the country, and at the same time we have been on the side of the civilian population, all through the war, as the first humanitarian donor for Syrians both within and outside the country. Exactly for this reason, we have a stronger role to play when it comes to the political mediation and solution.

First of all, let me stress one basic thing that sometimes we take for granted, but I think in these times we are living, it is definitely not something that is irrelevant: we are the ones contributing to the humanitarian work inside Syria and around Syria. We are the ones bringing aid through the UN agencies and international organisations; trying to save every single life; trying to bring every single child to school; trying to guarantee the minimum basic living conditions for Syrians.

This is something I will always be proud of. Some might consider that Realpolitik goes as far as making this irrelevant. Let me tell you that the basic condition – not only of humanity from my perspective, but also for the political future of Syria – is that there are some Syrians left. I am sorry, this is very hard to say, but our work of saving lives on the ground, guaranteeing that people have humanitarian aid, medical assistance, food, water – basic, basic living conditions – is first a humanitarian duty, and second it is also a major political asset, also to be a recognised, trusted, political actor for the parties. It is precious: so precious that to me it is invaluable.

Because we have not destroyed, because we help life, we can better help the Syrians rebuild the future of the country. And this is something that not only the international community, not only the region, but also and first of all, the Syrians recognise to the European Union. This is the core of the European Union’s Strategy on Syria, adopted by the Council on 3 April, with conclusions endorsing my joint communication with the Commission. This is our answer to anyone who believes – as I was saying – that we are powerless because we are not shooting. It is exactly the contrary. The entire European Union is united behind the goal of a political solution to the war and the means to achieve it. It demonstrates what we can do in practice to end this war and ensure that lives are protected, rights respected, democratic aspirations and needs are met.

In the Strategy we outlined a clear set of objectives: seeking a political solution to the conflict within the UN framework; supporting the opposition – including the High Negotiation Committee – to develop their proposal for a meaningful and inclusive transition; and in parallel, as I said, working to save lives, to promote human rights, to strengthen civil society, the role of women, to promote accountability for war crimes – that is extremely important, and I will come back to that – and to support the resilience of the Syrian people.

The Strategy indicates the direction of our actions. It is not a philosophical paper; it is a road map for acting together. Two days after it was endorsed, we have begun to put it into practice: hosting the major international Ministerial conference on Syria in Brussels, together with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. We brought together 80 delegations from countries and international organisations from the region and the entire world, raising more than nine billion euros until 2020, including EUR 5.6 billion for 2017 alone. There was a risk of the international community being disrupted – of having a sort of donors’ fatigue when it comes to the support to Syrians, and I was glad to see that we managed to mobilise more resources than last year in London. This is important; it makes a difference to the lives of the people on the ground. But again, as I said, it makes a difference also for the UN and our support to the UN system – another political objective which is very dear in our hearts and minds in this period of time, and it strengthens the possibility for political work to be done in Geneva.

More than two thirds of this amount comes from the European Union and the Member States. So, once again, we are throwing a lifeline to millions of Syrians, inside the country and in the region, building in this way the basic conditions for the future of Syria, the survival of Syrians.

As you might remember, on the eve of the Brussels Conference, a terrible chemical attack hit Idlib’s province, and I do not believe this was a complete coincidence. Normally, as the international community gathers to work for peace and show unity, and determination and commitment, the enemies of peace tried to derail its efforts. But that very same day, from Brussels, from the European Union, from the UN, from so many countries and organisations, we sent two powerful messages. First, we all agreed that those responsible for these crimes must be held accountable. And last week, exactly one week ago, on Europe’s Day, 9 May, in New York, I was briefing the UN Security Council and sharing with them the fact that the European Union fully stands behind the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in its investigations: this is the right forum to document any responsibilities for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Brussels Conference also made a call for support to the new ‘International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism’, established by the UN General Assembly, which will assist in investigating and prosecuting war crimes cases in Syria. Accountability for us is key.

Second, in Brussels we all committed to work for a political solution agreed among the Syrian parties as the only just but also the only realistic way to end the war.

Accountability and the need to support a political solution and to be serious about that: these were also the main messages we heard from the representatives of the Syrian civil society – Syrian women – during the Brussels Conference. Together with the third word we heard a very powerful word from them: hudna, hudna, hudna. They were repeating it to us, and this means ‘we need a ceasefire’. We need violence to decrease and peace to reach some areas of the country. For three days, around the Brussels Conference, over 40 Syrians from all parts of Syria and from the diaspora, representatives of civil society organisations with very different backgrounds, women and men, different ages, worked to agree on a set of common messages for the Conference. Their representatives delivered their messages to the ministers in the political session. We have immediately turned into practice the Strategy’s recognition of the civil society’s crucial role, and I know this Parliament is particularly supportive of that – rightly so. These are the people who can reach across the conflict lines, talk to each other, heal the wounds of over six years of war, to make reconciliation truly possible on the ground, locally. And the expertise they hold will also be essential to post-conflict reconstruction.

In fact, let me say the Syrians who came to Brussels from within and outside of Syria, different parts of the country, agreed very much with our determination to begin preparations for the day after the end of the conflict. Because too many times – too many times – the international community, and also Europe, was not prepared for winning the peace after a war had ended. It is a mistake that we cannot afford anymore; Syria and the Syrians cannot afford that mistake. Of course, reconstruction will only begin when a political transition will be under way, not before. This is in the hands of the Syrian talks in Geneva under the UN auspices that the European Union is accompanying day by day. But the European Union has already started to engage and to contribute to the post-agreement planning, in close cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank. Also because this can be a very powerful tool, maybe one of the most powerful tools today, to support and accompany the political process, showing the peace dividend, being an incentive to the Syrian parties to find and implement an agreement.

The same logic marks our Syria Strategy: we do not try to bet on the future, but to prepare for it and contribute to shaping it, together with the UN, together with the powers of the region, but most of all, with the people of Syria. Because peace can only come from the Syrian people, from a political solution agreed by the Syrian parties.

This is the most complex and the most violent conflict in our times, and it is clear, I think, by now to all in the world that no regional or global power alone has the strength to solve it. We need forces to join along one line, which is a political solution agreed by the Syrian parties in Geneva under the UN auspices.

All different initiatives – and we wish that all of them manage to deliver and to be implemented, including the ones taken in Astana – now have the big responsibility to converge towards Geneva, to help the Syrians build peace and find their own path towards national reconciliation. And there are no shortcuts for that. We have seen it for six years: Geneva, the UN process, the multilateral framework, these intra-Syrian talks are and must remain the only way to transition.

As I said today, Staffan de Mistura has resumed the talks with a clear intention of entering into the substance of the transition, starting from the constitutional set-up of the country. The European Union stands there in Geneva, as well as the work we do in Brussels and in the region, to accompany the UN, their work, to accompany the Syrian people for a democratic, united and inclusive Syria to finally bring peace to the country and to our entire region.


  Arnaud Danjean, au nom du groupe PPE. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute Représentante, notre impuissance collective à mettre un terme à la tragédie syrienne n’est pas seulement une tragédie morale vis-à-vis des centaines de milliers de victimes, c’est aussi un échec diplomatique qui assombrit considérablement toute perspective de stabilité dans le voisinage de l’Europe.

C’est pourquoi aucun effort diplomatique ne doit être épargné pour contribuer à la recherche d’une solution. La stratégie que vous nous exposez est à bien des égards encore terriblement décalée par rapport à une réalité dont l’horreur ne semble pas connaître de limites. Au moins a-t-elle le mérite de rappeler quelques principes d’une solution. Des principes, rappelons-le, déjà égrenés depuis cinq ans et qui, espérons-le, arriveront un jour à maturité.

Bien sûr, l’Europe est loin d’être la seule à blâmer pour cet échec. D’autres portent des responsabilités encore plus accablantes. Le régime d’abord, qui joue depuis le début la politique du pire, mais qui a encore des appuis et une réalité, pas seulement à Moscou et à Téhéran. Des groupes djihadistes, qui prospèrent sur le chaos et sèment une terreur d’ampleur inédite. Des puissances régionales irresponsables pour lesquelles la Syrie n’est qu’un terrain de manœuvres pour leurs propres ambitions. Et des grandes puissances qui ne semblent pas mesurer combien leurs visions soi-disant stratégiques sont en fait des petits calculs sordides à très court terme qui alimentent la crise et l’ont fait muter d’une guerre civile à une conflagration régionale durable.

L’Europe n’est malheureusement pas encore un acteur clé du règlement de ce conflit. Il faudrait sans doute avoir une approche plus réaliste des rapports de force, des ambitions peut-être plus modestes, mais en tout cas une volonté de tous les instants d’exercer toutes les influences possibles auprès de ceux qui ont une part du sort de la Syrie entre leurs mains.

Nos leviers humanitaires, financiers et politiques, que vous avez rappelés, doivent être concentrés sur des objectifs atteignables. Il ne peut y avoir d’autres priorités plus impérieuses à votre ordre du jour.


  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, today I will speak mainly about the future because we have to make every effort to ensure that there is a future for the people of Syria. We have to ensure that one of the main objectives of the EU Strategy on Syria is to facilitate a political solution, which should also include a UN monitoring and enforcement mechanism. Moreover, we have to make sure that the European Union plays the most effective and active role possible within the existing UN agreed negotiating framework. The European Union is the largest donor to the Syrian crisis and, through the last Brussels Conference, has committed itself to making a substantial post—conflict contribution to reconstruction.

Madam High Representative, we thus call on you to leverage this significant financial contribution in order to play the most immediate and important role in the negotiation process and to ensure that a fair and just political transition will come about as soon as possible for the Syrian people. We cannot leave this in the hands of an illegitimate regime that has slaughtered its own citizens for so many years. We cannot allow this to continue with the support of Syria’s allies, Russia and Iran. We cannot let down the Syrian moderate opposition or the people of Syria. They are the ones to invest in and to protect if we want any kind of future for Syria – even more so now after the dreadful chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

Civilians continue to suffer and to be targeted. Respect for the ceasefire has been violated many times, so we need to ensure that, finally, we have a ceasefire and, at the same time, that humanitarian workers will be allowed access.

It is also very important to ensure that the recent memorandum on the setting-up of the de—escalation zone, signed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, will not allow further targeting of the Syrian moderate opposition.

One key concept in all of this is ‘early accountability’. It is fundamental now to bring justice, balance and moderation for any future government. Perpetrators should be brought to justice: they have to face criminal justice and be sanctioned by international law.


  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I say to the High Representative that we continue to describe the situation in Syria as being a civil war, but over the course of the past seven years the conflict has become increasingly a proxy war between the two main divisions of Islam. Despite paying lip service to the fight against ISIS, Russia continues to target the majority of its efforts against other Sunni groups that seek to overthrow the Assad Alawite regime. Turkey is still driven by Erdoğan’s overriding aim of preventing the emergence of a Kurdish quasi—state on its Syrian border, regardless of the fact that the YPG forces have proved to be the most effective forces against ISIS and have received continuous support from Turkey’s NATO allies, including the Americans.

Western efforts have, with the exception of the US strike against the Shayrat airbase in April, exclusively been focused on the fight against ISIS. The Assad regime, with Iranian support, is meanwhile at its strongest point since the conflict began, consolidating its territorial gains and confident that Russia’s continuing military backing for it will give it sufficient protection. Such confidence was demonstrated by the horrendous chemical attack carried out in Idlib in April which killed 70 people. Such confidence has also resulted in other atrocious human rights abuses. Just yesterday the US State Department endorsed the findings of an Amnesty International report which claims that prisoners at the Saydnaya prison complex are being executed and buried and incinerated in mass graves.

In the Geneva UN talks, the departure of Assad is clearly the first point for moving forwards. I called in this House more than six years ago now for a no-fly zone, but all options must now be considered for the sake of defending civilians and their lives, of peace, including things such as transitional arrangements, territorial partitions and even amnesties, however unpalatable.

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


  Udo Voigt (NI), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Herr Präsident! Herr Tannock, woher nehmen Sie das Bewusstsein, dass die Nachrichten aus dem US-Außenministerium stimmen? Es war doch der amerikanische Außenminister Colin Powell, der während des Irakkriegs Lügen über Kriegsverbrechen verbreitet hat: Brutkastenmorde, er legte Fotos von Massenvernichtungswaffen vor, die überhaupt nicht existiert haben. Colin Powell sagt heute: Ich bereue, ich schlafe wie ein Baby, alle zwei Stunden wache ich auf und schreie. Wissen Sie das alles nicht?


  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Mr President, I apologise, but my headphones were not working, so I did not catch the question. It will have to be repeated. I am sorry. Perhaps you could repeat it in a compressed, concise, telegraphic form.


  El Presidente. – Le pido al señor Voigt que sea más breve en la pregunta que le haga al señor Tannock.


  Udo Voigt (NI), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Ja, in kurzer Form: Ich habe gefragt, woher Sie die Gewissheit nehmen, die Wahrheit vom amerikanischen Außenministerium zu hören? Denn Colin Powell, der damalige Außenminister der USA während des Irakkriegs, ist es doch gewesen, der uns auch gefälschte Bilder von Massenvernichtungswaffen, von den Brutkastenmorden in Kuweit und so weiter erzählt hat. Heute sagt er: Er bereut das und er schläft heute wie ein Baby und wacht nachts schreiend auf.


  Charles Tannock (ECR), blue-card answer. – I do not think that I used the words ‘true facts’. I stated in my speech that the Syrian Assad regime has carried out atrocities. I will stand by that statement concerning the use of barrel bombs over civilian areas, with the killing of women and children deliberately by the regime. As for the probable use of chemical weapons, the fact that the previous administration under President Obama unfortunately refused to act on it as a red line has resulted in President Assad continuing to prosecute his war in an atrocious fashion. I do not deny that the other sides have also committed war crimes. There have been war crimes committed by all sides, but this is the most horrendous situation and I have no doubt about the guilt of the Assad regime.


  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, please allow me to start with a point of order. We started the debate 20 minutes late today, through no fault of the High Representative, but I think it would actually be normal and reasonable for you as President to inform Members. So that is just a kind request for the future.

I would like to say to the High Representative that the discussion on the EU—Syria strategy is very urgent. Yesterday, the US Government found a crematorium next to a military prison to hide mass killings, reminding us of the limitless brutalities perpetrated by the Assad regime and its allies and the immense suffering of innocent people in Syria. It also painfully reminds us of our own promises when we said never again. We must focus on justice and accountability, and peace for the people in Syria. I am afraid that we are not, as the EU – as you said in the last debate that we had – where we have to be with regard to Syria. Not at all. Nobody is.

At last there is a common position among Member States – better late than never – with this Syria strategy. Indeed we must demand a much stronger role towards a political solution that is negotiated under the leadership of the UN. We must leverage our role as a major humanitarian aid donor and as an expected contributor to the immense task of reconstruction to persuade those who kill and destroy to end this dead-end street, to stop sieges, detention, starvation as a war crime, to save the people, and also to make sure that our own interest is better safeguarded.

Besides the strategy, I would like to urge you again to do more to use the good contacts that you have developed in Tehran to persuade them to end the support for the Assad regime or face consequences. The same goes for those Member States, such as Italy, when there was an opportunity in the past, which have vetoed EU sanctions on Russia for their terrible support of the bombardment of innocent civilians. I believe there has to be accountability in the broadest sense and we still need more EU leadership because, in the vacuum that we leave, others take a role that will not benefit the interests of the Syrian people, nor our own.

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


  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI), ερώτηση "γαλάζια κάρτα". – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ήθελα να ρωτήσω την κυρία συνάδελφο αν αυτά τα οποία ανέφερε σχετικά με τα κρεματόρια και τα λοιπά στη Συρία είναι αποκυήματα της φαντασίας της ή έχει αποδείξεις, για να μην λέμε στο Κοινοβούλιο διάφορα τέτοια χωρίς αποδείξεις.


  Marietje Schaake (ALDE), blue-card answer. – Sir, if you had listened you would have heard that I cited the US Government. It is your choice to believe it or not. But even without this latest report of the presence of crematoria, the suffering of the Syrian people speaks for itself. If you do not want to believe it, history will judge you harshly.


  Marisa Matias, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Mogherini, sabe que, em matéria de orientação geral, não tenho divergências de fundo com aquilo que são as posições que tem tomado em matéria de uma solução política e do apoio ao processo de conversações de Genebra e às negociações de Astana, mas, dito isto, estamos a falar da estratégia da União Europeia e creio que há muitos vazios por preencher na estratégia da União Europeia. Mesmo sendo apenas uma estratégia política que, como disse e concordo consigo, é muito, é o que faz falta.

Desde logo, na semana passada, soubemos das gravações quando houve um naufrágio, em 2013, no mar Mediterrâneo, onde morreram 268 pessoas, entre as quais 60 crianças, que foram deixadas à morte, literalmente, pelas autoridades italianas e maltesas, que não prestaram auxílio. Não ouvi da parte das autoridades e das instituições europeias uma palavra de condenação. E a questão é: onde é que estava a União Europeia aqui? Não estava. E deixaram-se morrer estas pessoas porque a União Europeia deixou de ter meios de ajuda humanitária, porque transformou a Frontex no patrulhamento, deixou que as vidas contassem menos e deixou que as fronteiras contassem mais no momento em que estas pessoas precisam de auxílio.

Uma outra questão tem a ver com a burocracia. Quando falamos da recolocação dos refugiados, porque é que demora tanto, porque é que é tão burocrático? Como é que é possível que dentro da União Europeia haja crianças sem papéis? Que conceção é esta de crianças sem papéis dentro da União Europeia?

Portanto, reduzir a burocracia está ao nosso alcance e finalmente, finalmente, Sr. Presidente, permita-me que termine, permitiu a toda a gente. Último ponto: disse e bem que a União Europeia não tem um papel direto militar na Síria mas tem um papel indireto. Pela terceira, quarta, quinta vez, as que forem preciso, digo: acabe-se com a venda de armas aos grupos terroristas por parte dos países europeus. Um embargo imediato, já, é o mínimo dos mínimos, porque só há paz se se acabar com a guerra e, para haver paz, não precisamos de armas europeias no território.


  Barbara Lochbihler, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Hohe Vertreterin Frau Mogherini! Sie haben darauf hingewiesen: Heute beginnt in Genf eine weitere Runde der Syrien-Friedensgespräche. Die Erwartungen, dass es diesmal zu einem Durchbruch kommt, sind dennoch weiterhin sehr gering. Allerdings gibt es die durch Russland initiierte Vereinbarung von Astana, gibt es Anlass zu vorsichtiger Hoffnung, denn die Vereinbarung sieht die Schaffung von sogenannten Deeskalationszonen vor. Die EU muss sich nun dafür einsetzen, dass zur Überwachung dieser Zonen der UN-Sicherheitsrat eingebunden wird, insbesondere mit dem Ziel, eine Blauhelmmission dorthin zu entsenden.

Der Astana-Prozess kann gewiss eine hilfreiche Ergänzung für den Friedensprozess sein. Selbstverständlich muss aber die Oberhand für eine Friedenslösung bei den Vereinten Nationen bleiben. Es ist gut, dass die EU einen nationalen Aussöhnungsprozess in Syrien fördern will und dafür erwartet und einfordert, dass die Verantwortlichen für Kriegsverbrechen und Menschenrechtsverletzungen zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden. Daran müssen sich alle EU-Mitgliedstaaten politisch und finanziell beteiligen. Ich fordere die EU-Mitgliedstaaten auf, den im Dezember von der UN beschlossenen Mechanismus zur Untersuchung von Kriegsverbrechen in Syrien angemessen zu unterstützen. Aussöhnung und Rechenschaft für im Krieg begangene Verbrechen sind für eine friedliche Zukunft unerlässlich.

Ebenso rufe ich dazu auf, die syrische Zivilgesellschaft – sowohl in Syrien als auch im Exil – als vollwertige Akteure an der Zukunftsgestaltung ihres Landes zu beteiligen. Die EU sollte vor allem diejenigen stärken, die sich für Menschenrechte, die Gleichstellung der Frau und den Aufbau demokratischer Strukturen einsetzen. Ich begrüße es ausdrücklich, dass die EU weiterhin einen maßgeblichen Beitrag zur humanitären Hilfe in der Region leisten will – er ist dringend notwendig. Gleichfalls möchte ich aber auch betonen, dass geflüchtete Menschen aus Syrien großzügig in resettlement-Programmen in der EU Aufnahme finden, und dass wir legale Zugangswege für diese Opfer des Krieges schaffen und dass sie in angemessener Weise in Europa Schutz finden.


  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Alto rappresentante, i morti si contano o si pesano? Per me, per noi, si contano e basta, e il loro numero è inaccettabile nella sventurata terra siriana, un tempo culla di civiltà e di coesistenza tra religioni ed etnie, oggi un inferno di sangue, estremismo e violenza.

Tutti abbiamo appreso i tragici fatti di Khan Shaykhun, morti che piangiamo, violenze che condanniamo senza alcuna riserva, chiedendo un'inchiesta ONU indipendente che accerti le responsabilità perché i colpevoli devono pagare.

Purtroppo però noto che non tutti i morti sono pianti dai media nello stesso modo. Proprio ieri altre 23 vittime, di cui 12 donne, sono state trucidate dalle bombe della coalizione internazionale ai confini con l'Iraq. Si aggiungono ai 352 ufficiali dal 2014, forse sono anche di più, sospetto.

Tanti sono i disastri umanitari e siriani dimenticati. A Deir ez-Zor da quasi tre anni sono sotto assedio da parte di Daesh ben 120 000 civili intrappolati, che sopravvivono solo grazie ai lanci aerei ad alta quota delle Nazioni Unite. Nessuno li ricorda. Se quella zona fosse controllata dai miliziani, mi e vi chiedo, ci sarebbe forse maggiore attenzione?

Mentre a Ginevra si parla, la Siria brucia e ad Astana si decide. I negoziati ufficiali delle Nazioni Unite sembrano essere ridotti a un mero proforma. Al contrario, nella capitale kazaka viene sempre più definito il piano delle quattro zone di de-escalation, un piano grazie al quale le principali potenze globali e regionali si stanno confrontando sul posizionamento anche delle rispettive milizie satellite, spartendosi di fatto le rispettive zone di influenza nel martoriato scacchiere siriano. La verità è che ormai in questo complicatissimo scenario a tutti conviene quasi cristallizzare il conflitto, piuttosto che rischiare che sia solo uno a vincerlo.

Ma la vera domanda è: chi sarà a liberare Raqqa? Potranno farsi carico di questo immane e terribile compito, pur con i maggiori aiuti statunitensi, solamente i valorosi curdi dell'YPG che per anni hanno dovuto fronteggiare Daesh? Continueremo a tacere sulle pressioni turche, che continuano a considerarli un'organizzazione terroristica e dimostrano con minacce tutt'altro che velate la propria volontà di arrivare a uno scontro armato? Continueremo a tollerare che chi da anni sta pagando un prezzo altissimo in termini di vite, chi combatte questi miliziani pronti a farsi saltare in aria, possa essere aggredito da un paese candidato all'adesione?

Le chiedo inoltre una verifica attenta delle sanzioni anche sui beni dual use, perché, da quello che ci riferisce anche la Mezzaluna rossa presente sul campo, pompe idrauliche e medicine antitumorali incontrano difficoltà enormi per arrivare sul campo e sul terreno in Siria e a farne i conti, come sempre, è il popolo, non certo i leader di qualsivoglia natura e qualsivoglia posizione.

Fortunatamente, come Lei ha ricordato, non siamo un attore armato e non dobbiamo assolutamente diventarlo. Io condivido l'analisi, ciò ci rende più credibili nella transizione e nella ricostruzione, purtroppo è impossibile però implementare efficacemente un piano post-conflitto finché i vari contendenti continuano a disputarsi le spoglie di un paese ormai in macerie. Qui noi possiamo fare la differenza, con il nostro peso geopolitico e soprattutto geoeconomico e commerciale, verso gli attori regionali e non.

Questa brutale guerra per procura, perché di guerra per procura si tratta, deve finire. Il popolo siriano non può continuare a pagare colpe non sue e a piangere morti che sono tutti uguali, perché nessuno di loro è più uguale degli altri.


  Mario Borghezio, a nome del gruppo ENF. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono convinto anch'io che l'Unione europea, se non fosse una ONG che si comporta come tale e ci viene a fare un discorso filosofico, sì, un discorso generico e filosofico e parla di diritti umani, di generi, delle donne, tutte cose molto interessanti, ma elude i problemi politici, diplomatici e soprattutto non ci dice cosa sta facendo l'Unione europea che avrebbe, come è stato detto poco fa, delle enormi potenzialità per influire, se fosse qualcosa di diverso da una ONG.

Lei, Alto rappresentante, ha molto sorvolato, per esempio, sugli accordi di Astana, che invece, prevedendo un'ipotesi di zone di de-escalation, quindi di normalizzazione e mantenimento delle tregue, sono utilissimi per la fase di transizione. Non ci ha detto nulla sul summit fra Trump e Lavrov, che è stato importantissimo perché la Siria è stata al centro del colloquio, ci dica cosa ne pensa. Noi vogliamo sapere qualcosa di più preciso su quello che è l'intervento, l'opinione, l'influenza di questa Unione europea, se non è una ONG, come tutto lascia pensare. Anche qui i colloqui, tra l'altro sull'ipotesi di creare zone di cuscinetto in Siria, come d'altronde aveva già proposto Tillerson.

Io penso che questi tentativi siano molto importanti, perché servono per avvicinare il cessate il fuoco, sono azioni diplomatiche su cui l'influenza e l'intervento dell'Unione europea potrebbero avere un aspetto concreto e importante, se veramente vogliamo agire verso la transizione alla tregua e alla pace, naturalmente con le conseguenze anche per i diritti umani che sono ovviamente una cosa importantissima.

Io credo che bisogna tener conto dello scenario complessivo, del fatto che gli Stati Uniti stanno favorendo una massiccia concentrazione di truppe dalla Giordania e questo, naturalmente, ha un rilievo molto importante perché l'intento è di evitare che le truppe Isis in rotta siano sostituite dalla galassia delle truppe ribelli filoislamiche.

D'altronde voglio dire, concludendo, che c'è un problema che mi pare che qui, in questi dibattiti, viene eluso, quello dei foreign fighter che stanno scappando. L'Isis li considera preziosissimi; quelli tornano in Europa e ce li troveremo in casa nostra e voi non dite niente. Siete degli irresponsabili!


  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος (NI). – Κυρία Mogherini, μιλήσατε για ανθρωπισμό της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στη Συρία. Έλεος! Δεν ήταν η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση που ενεργοποίησε το άρθρο 42 και έδωσε το ελεύθερο σε Βρετανία, Γαλλία και άλλους για να βομβαρδίσουν τη Συρία με χιλιάδες νεκρούς και πρόσφυγες; Φαίνεται τελικά ότι, αντί για ευλογία, κατάρα κυνηγάει τις χώρες που έχουν πηγές ενέργειας και δρόμους μεταφοράς της. Μέση Ανατολή, Βαλκάνια, Ουκρανία, μυρίζουν μπαρούτι. Σύνορα επαναχαράσσονται. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση στρατιωτικοποιείται για να είναι, όπως λέει, «παγκόσμια παρούσα». Οι ανταγωνισμοί οξύνονται με κίνδυνο γενίκευσης συγκρούσεων, όπως στο Αιγαίο. Οι λαοί θυσιάζονται για συμφέροντα των μονοπωλίων, είτε με αντεργατικές πολιτικές, είτε σε πολέμους. Η ελληνική κυβέρνηση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ – ΑΝΕΛ καλεί το ΝΑΤΟ στο Αιγαίο, αναβαθμίζει στρατιωτικές βάσεις Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών και ΝΑΤΟ, όπως η Σούδα, δηλαδή ορμητήρια επιθέσεων στους λαούς της περιοχής, όπως η πυραυλική επίθεση των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών στη Συρία με δεκάδες νεκρούς. Μοναδικό συμφωνημένο θέμα για το Brexit είναι η διασφάλιση των βρετανικών βάσεων στην Κύπρο. Οι λαοί να απαντήσουν με τη συντονισμένη πάλη τους κατά των ιμπεριαλιστικών σχεδιασμών, απάντηση που θα ακουστεί δυνατά στις κινητοποιήσεις στις Βρυξέλλες, στη σύνοδο του ΝΑΤΟ στις 25 του Μάη.


  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute Représentante, je commencerai par faire référence à la conférence sur l’avenir de la Syrie qui a eu lieu le mois dernier à Bruxelles et dont la conclusion était très claire: il faut une transition politique solide et crédible. Et pour que cette crédibilité soit atteinte, nous avons besoin d’une justice transitionnelle et d’une lutte contre l’impunité qui soient situées au centre de la transition. C’est pourquoi j’ai proposé, il y a quelques mois, de travailler sur cette question au Parlement et je viens de rédiger un rapport sur la stratégie de l’Union pour punir les génocides, les crimes de guerre et les crimes contre l’humanité.

Je crois que la nécessité de poursuivre en justice les membres de Daesh mais aussi du régime syrien pour les crimes commis en Syrie est un axe qu’il faut suivre. Cette question doit d’ailleurs être traitée en urgence, car les preuves des meurtres, des viols, des tortures et des génocides commis contre les chrétiens, les Yézidis ou d’autres communautés sont en train de disparaître. Il faut donc récolter et préserver les preuves maintenant, sans quoi nous ne pourrons plus poursuivre les coupables en justice.

Je pense que l’Union a également un rôle à jouer au niveau diplomatique auprès du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, pour qu’il réfère la situation en Irak et en Syrie à la Cour pénale internationale. Dans cette situation, la deuxième option serait de soutenir la création d’un tribunal international pour la Syrie, à laquelle j’ajoute une nouvelle fois l’Irak. Je crois que la seule option dont nous disposons est d’exclure toute attente et d’avancer dans ce sens.


  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Debatemos a estratégia da União Europeia para a Síria, mas há alguma? Ao ouvi-la, Senhora Mogherini, contentamo-nos em trabalhar para o pós—conflito.

Entretanto, a guerra prossegue. Dura há mais de seis anos, com mais de 400 mil mortos, 5 milhões de refugiados, 6 milhões de deslocados internamente. A Síria confronta-nos com mais do que a impotência da União Europeia, com a desumanidade da Humanidade.

Ainda nos últimos dias, vimos vídeos arrepiantes: cirurgias feitas na Síria, em campos de refugiados na vizinha Turquia, recolhendo órgãos em crianças ainda vivas para proveito das redes de traficantes, a acrescer a milhares de detenções e desaparecimentos pelo regime e por grupos terroristas ativos no terreno, na Síria, ao uso de gás sarin e outras armas químicas, massacres civis, etc.. A lista de horrores não tem fim, mas não comove nem move governos europeus.

Sra. Alta Representante, é no mínimo exigível que os Estados-Membros financiem adequadamente um mecanismo internacional imparcial e independente, estabelecido pela ONU, em dezembro de 2016, para investigar crimes de guerra cometidos por todas as partes no conflito sírio.

A justiça tem que ser prioridade, a impunidade é impedimento para a resolução do conflito e para qualquer perspetiva de paz duradoura no pós-guerra, como a Sra. Mogherini também o reconheceu.

Gostava de a ouvir também, Senhora Mogherini, dizer mais alto, confrontar os nossos Estados-Membros com a obrigação de acolherem vítimas e refugiados deste conflito, em vez de tentarem externalizar responsabilidades para países como a Turquia ou como a Líbia.

Não esquecemos que foi também a incapacidade dos nossos governos de atuar, coordenada e estrategicamente, que deixou as portas abertas à Rússia e ao Irão para apoiarem o regime criminoso de Assad, permitindo-lhe a ele e ao Daesh e aos outros grupos terroristas massacrarem o povo sírio, com consequências diretas para a nossa segurança, para a segurança regional e global.


  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR). – Mr President, after six years of unbearable suffering of the Syrian people, of violations of human rights and humanitarian law, possible genocide, Syria needs a lasting negotiated ceasefire. Unfortunately, after failures of ceasefire agreements until now, we have the right to be sceptical also about current initiative as elaborated in Astana for de-escalation zones. There are many loopholes and inconsequences there, and beneath the thin veil of diplomatic nitty-gritty there is the aim to support the murderous Assad regime. We need credible initiatives. Also we need an enhanced role of the EU with other NATO partners.


  Hilde Vautmans (ALDE). – Mevrouw Mogherini, we spreken hier vandaag over de grootste humanitaire crisis waarmee de wereld wordt geconfronteerd, een crisis die een grote invloed op de regio heeft. Zes miljoen kinderen zijn afhankelijk van humanitaire hulp. We spreken hier vandaag over de strategie van Europa, maar eerlijk gezegd heeft die te weinig om het lijf. Too little, too late als u het mij vraagt. U pleit voor politieke dialoog. We zijn een grote humanitaire donor. Dat klopt allemaal. Maar we rekenen heel erg hard op de Verenigde Naties. Hoe geloofwaardig is dat als de Verenigde Naties er niet in slagen om de laatste gifgasaanvallen te veroordelen? We moeten meer doen om de daders te berechten. Ik heb u niet gehoord over de Verenigde Staten. Ik heb u niet gehoord over Rusland. Als we spreken over een echte strategie voor Syrië, dan vraag ik u: mag het iets meer zijn? Mag het iets sneller gaan? Zodanig dat we die kinderen kunnen redden.


  Σοφία Σακοράφα (GUE/NGL). – Κύριοι συνάδελφοι, δεν θα αναφερθώ πάλι ούτε στις αιτίες ούτε στις ιστορικές ευθύνες που έχουμε για την τραγική κατάσταση στη περιοχή. Αδυνατώ, όμως να επικαλεστώ και χρήσιμα συμπεράσματα από την στρατηγική της ΕΕ. Η αντιμετώπιση της προσφυγικής κρίσης αποκάλυψε στο μέγιστο βαθμό και το έλλειμα αλληλεγγύης και την απουσία πολιτικής βούλησης από την ΕΕ. Περιγράφω λοιπόν το ελάχιστο πλαίσιο το οποίο θα δικαιολογεί τον ρόλο και τον λόγο εμπλοκής της ΕΕ. Πρέπει να διασφαλίσουμε ότι τη λύση και την προοπτική θα την διαμορφώσει ελεύθερα ο Συριακός λαός. Μετά από 6 χρόνια καταστροφικού πολέμου θα είναι απάνθρωπο αλλά και επικίνδυνο για τη σταθερότητα να επιτρέψουμε να εκβιαστεί οικονομικά και να υποστεί επιδρομή από τους “δημοκράτες” αναμορφωτές, à la Ιράκ. Πέρα από μεγαλοστομίες για επιστροφή προσφύγων, ας δώσουμε σε όσους παρέμειναν την αίσθηση ότι τουλάχιστον μπορούν να ελπίζουν σε ένα καλύτερο μέλλον από το καταστροφικό παρόν που τους επιφύλαξαν τα οικονομικά και γεωπολιτικά συμφέροντα στην περιοχή.


  Jordi Solé (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I would like to address two very specific demands on Syria to Ms Mogherini. First, when trying to reach a long-lasting political solution to that bloody conflict, the EU should never forget that it all started when the Assad regime brutally oppressed peaceful demonstrations of common people just claiming democracy and freedom for their country. Then of course it all went more complex, with many factions from the inside and from the outside trying to take advantage of the chaos and the war. But in the beginning, what ignited this terrible conflict was the criminal reaction of the Assad regime. Never forget that, and always stay by the side of those who want to honour the wishes of freedom of the ones who were repressed back in 2011 and thereafter.

And second, the EU should make sure that the many crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime and its allies and by other non-state armed groups will not go unpunished. The creation of a Syrian war crimes tribunal will be needed in order to make justice but also in order to boost universal justice.


  James Carver (EFDD). – Mr President, it is Groundhog Day once again in the European Parliament. I look up to the public gallery and say ‘Welcome to another month of one of our sessions of hand-wringing!’

Madam High Representative, I do not need to take up too much of your time, as I have said these things before in response to the same tired old speeches that I am listening to today. Whilst the extremists thrive and the people of Syria continue to die, we continue to have these debates about regime change, the influence of President Putin and how much better Syria will be once we have brought in democracy.

Our track record in the region in terms of the decimation of civilian populations to ensure democracy is not too impressive, and I am sure the peoples of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan would forgo the prospects of a democratically elected legislature in return for a roof over their heads, food in their mouths and the prospect of living beyond the next week.

Can we deal with the extremists in Syria before even more make their way to Yemen to further destabilise that benighted country? Can we forget about forcing regime change and help the Syrian people rediscover some normality, without us deciding what that normality should be?

I will now go outside and bang my head against the wall as I fear it will be far less painful than listening to this.


  Edouard Ferrand (ENF). – Monsieur le Président, les Occidentaux n’ont pas de stratégie. La politique européenne en Syrie est suicidaire. Votre position, à savoir ni Bachar Al-Assad, ni Daech, n’est pas tenable, Madame le Haut-commissaire.

Les Occidentaux poursuivent la stratégie pro-islamiste, qui consiste à jouer la carte de l’islamisme sunnite pour endiguer la Russie et le nationalisme arabe. Vous êtes plus soucieux de vous en prendre systématiquement à la Russie que de lutter contre le terrorisme islamique, que vous encouragez. Par conséquent, Madame le Haut-commissaire, aujourd’hui, le meilleur conseil que je puisse vous donner est le suivant: ne faites plus rien en Syrie.

Aujourd’hui, selon moi, le seul État capable de rétablir la paix et de montrer qu’il a une véritable capacité militaire, politique et opérationnelle, c’est la Syrie. Ce pays est aujourd’hui à l’origine de la solution que nous devons justement trouver pour apporter la paix au Proche-Orient.


  Λάμπρος Φουντούλης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κάνοντας μια μικρή έρευνα επάνω στις τρέχουσες εξελίξεις στη Συρία, βρήκα κάποια πολύ ενδιαφέροντα δεδομένα τα οποία πρέπει να τα αναφέρω στην ολομέλεια. Προφανώς καταδικάζουμε απερίφραστα το ισλαμικό χαλιφάτο και φαίνεται πως σε ένα-δύο χρόνια η απειλή αυτή θα έχει εξαλειφθεί. Η Δύση όμως επέλεξε να στραφεί εναντίον της νόμιμης κυβέρνησης της Συρίας, να εξοπλίσει και να χρηματοδοτήσει την αντιπολίτευση, δηλαδή τις συμμορίες των τρομοκρατών που παραπλανητικά χρησιμοποιούσαν την προμετωπίδα του «δήθεν» ελεύθερου συριακού στρατού. Σήμερα, οι συμμορίες αυτές εντάσσονται στη Χαγιάτ Ταχρίρ αλ Σαμ. Αυτή είναι η νέα ονομασία του μετώπου της αλ Νούσρα, δηλαδή της αλ Κάιντα στη Συρία. Ούτε οι ΗΠΑ, ούτε ο Καναδάς έχουν εντάξει ακόμα στη λίστα των τρομοκρατικών οργανώσεων την Ταχρίρ αλ Σαμ, πράγμα που με κάνει να αναρωτιέμαι για τα πραγματικά κίνητρά τους, ειδικότερα δε αν συνυπολογίσουμε και τη χθεσινή εισβολή βρετανικών και αμερικανικών δυνάμεων στο έδαφος της Συρίας. Καλώ λοιπόν το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο να καταδικάσει κάθε υποστήριξη σε οποιαδήποτε τρομοκρατική οργάνωση και να ξεκινήσει άμεσα συνομιλίες με τη νόμιμη κυβέρνηση της Συρίας, με μοναδικό σκοπό την επιστροφή της ειρήνης στην πολύπαθη αυτή χώρα και όχι την προώθηση γεωπολιτικών συμφερόντων.


  José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (PPE). – Señor presidente, señora alta representante, señorías, en el devastador conflicto de Siria yo creo que es importante distinguir los efectos de las causas. Y en los efectos, se ha dicho que la Unión Europea es una unión egoísta. Sinceramente, este es un conflicto cuya responsabilidad compete al conjunto de la comunidad internacional, y la Unión Europea ha aportado la mayor contribución ―primero, en la conferencia de Londres; ahora, en la conferencia de Bruselas― y ha venido sosteniendo a los países de la región: el Líbano, Irak, Egipto, Turquía, etcétera. Sinceramente no se puede decir, salvo algunas excepciones, que la Unión Europea sea una unión egoísta. Ahora, evidentemente, hay que ir a las causas del conflicto, y es evidente que la Unión Europea tiene que jugar un papel en una paz en Siria que sea estable y que sea justa.

Algunos colegas se han referido al Acuerdo de Astaná, que es un acuerdo que se ha establecido entre Rusia, entre Turquía y entre Irán y, que yo sepa, señora alta representante, es un acuerdo que no cuenta con el consentimiento de las partes. Yo creo que el único camino es el que nos ha señalado la alta representante: apoyar los esfuerzos del secretario general de las Naciones Unidas, poner fin al conflicto, poner realmente un gobierno de coalición, hacer una modificación constitucional, acabar con el Estado Islámico y establecer una hoja de ruta para un proceso electoral.

Ahora, la cuestión importante, señor presidente, y termino con esto, es determinar si, como parecía después de la llegada del presidente Trump a los Estados Unidos, se va a mantener Al-Asad en el poder con el apoyo de Rusia, sus vetos en el Consejo de Seguridad, sus intereses en la zona de Irán, o no. Yo creo, señor presidente, que, sinceramente, la permanencia de Al-Asad en la presidencia de la República impediría, como nos ha dicho la alta representante, una Siria democrática, unida y fuerte.


  Neena Gill (S&D). – Mr President, High Representative, the chilling statistics of those killed and maimed in Syria are well known. We now need to focus on solutions. Therefore I welcome the strategy as a first step. However, as with everything else, implementation will be the key to success, and this will hinge on a number of key points. How will we ensure the Astana deal does not provide a carte blanche for targeting the moderate opposition? What will we do to push the UN monitoring of both the agreement and humanitarian access already vetoed by Assad? I recognise that many colleagues have mentioned the de—escalation zones and that halting violence is a positive step, but if we do not want to replicate the December ceasefire, which ended in last month’s chemical attack, we need to address the points I have just mentioned.

Furthermore, I would say it is critical that the lessons we learned in Iraq are implemented to avoid repeating the mistakes made there. Leaders who kill and maim have to face justice – there are no compromises about that at all. However, uprooting an entire administration will lead to yet another failed state. Those without blood on their hands should be allowed to contribute to rebuilding future Syria. Whatever shape the future governance of Syria takes, if it is not inclusive, it is set to fail. We need to break the cycle of sectarian violence and exclusion. All groups, clans and sects needed to commit to a peace deserve a political representation.

Finally, in this strategy, what will you do, High Representative, to add bite to our bark? How do you hope to overcome the blockages in the Council on sanctions against some of the key players involved and bring about pressure on the international community?


  Anders Primdahl Vistisen (ECR). – Hr. formand! Situationen i Syrien er dybt tragisk og ser ud til at fortsætte, så længe der ikke kan blive fundet en god basis for en fremtidig fred.

Derfor mener jeg, at EU umiddelbart og akut bør fokusere på stabiliteten i nabolandene. Der er to nabolande, som i særlig grad er sårbare og udsatte, nemlig Libanon og Jordan. Begge lande har taget imod en meget, meget stor andel af dem, der er flygtet fra situationen i Syrien, og begge lande er under et enormt pres for at håndtere de menneskelige ulykker og store logistiske udfordringer, der følger med. Derfor bør vores indsats lige nu og her fokuseres meget på og sørge for, at ustabiliteten i regionen ikke spreder sig yderligere. Og så må vi selvfølgelig håbe på, at de igangværende forhandlinger leder frem til en mere stabil og en fredelig situation i selve Syrien.

Hvad det angår tror jeg, det er vigtigt, når vi snakker om situationen i selve Syrien, at vi da også kigger fremad. Der er en klar udfordring i, at vi lige i øjeblikket ser alle, der kæmper mod Assad-regimet, som potentielle allierede. Vi skal huske, at der også er store radikaliserede elementer blandt folk både i Assad-regimet, i ISIS, og også i nogle af de oprørsgrupper, der bekæmper såvel regimet som Islamisk Stat. Derfor er det vigtigt, at vi, når vi går fremad og ser på den mulige fred, der skal følge i Syrien, så bekæmper radikaliserede elementer på alle fronter og ikke stirrer os blinde på den ene eller den anden side i konflikten.


  Ivo Vajgl (ALDE). – Danes se je, kot poročajo, brez velikih pričakovanj začel šesti krog ženevskih pogajanj o Siriji, ki ste jih, gospa Mogherini, pomagali začeti. Za tiste, ki bolj verjamemo v politične rešitve in aktivno diplomacijo kot v stopnjevanje vojaških aktivnosti, je dogajanje v Ženevi, potem ko so pogajanja v Astani pod pokroviteljstvom Rusije, Turčije in Irana vendarle pripeljala do delnega pozitivnega rezultata, razglasitve varnih območij, pozitivno znamenje.

Bilo bi narobe, če bi dokumenti, ki jih v zvezi s tragedijo v Siriji sprejemamo v Evropskem parlamentu, bili samo nekakšna kronika dogajanja, brez vizije, predlogov in načrtov za lastno akcijo, ki bi vodile v ustavitev vojne in nujno obnovo uničene države.

Še slabše bi bilo, če bi Siriji namesto rešitev, mednarodne solidarnosti in sodelovanja, ponudili status bojišča hladne vojne. Iz udobnih sedežev Evropskega parlamenta včasih imam ta občutek, da si tudi tukaj želimo nekaj takega.


  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Mogherini, εγώ προσωπικά - και νομίζω, λογικά, ότι και εσείς - έχω κουραστεί να ακούω περιγραφή των βασάνων του συριακού λαού, ή ακόμα και περιγραφή των εγκλημάτων εις βάρος του συριακού λαού. Τείνει να γίνει ένα είδος θεατρικής αναπαράστασης, την ώρα που δεν μπορούμε, εδώ και μια εξαετία, να βρούμε λύσεις που να φέρουν την ειρήνη σ’ αυτή τη χώρα. Εγώ σας καλώ να συνεχίσετε τις προσπάθειες, έτσι ώστε να δούμε αν στο άμεσο μέλλον έρχεται η ειρήνη σ’ αυτόν τον τόπο, και θα έρθει και η ώρα του καταλογισμού των ευθυνών και η ώρα να πάνε στη φυλακή όσοι ευθύνονται, αν καταφέρουμε να τους φέρουμε ενώπιον της δικαιοσύνης, γι’ αυτή τη μεγάλη τραγωδία. Γιατί, τελικά, η Συρία έχει μετατραπεί σε μια αρένα όπου πολεμούν ξένοι για τα δικά τους εθνικά συμφέροντα. Δεν έχετε άλλο ρόλο, πέρα απ’ αυτόν που περιγράψατε, να συνεχίσετε τις προσπάθειές σας, να δούμε αν μπορούμε να βρούμε λύση σ’ αυτό το πολύ τραγικό πρόβλημα που είναι στη γειτονιά μας.


  Bodil Valero, för Verts/ALE-gruppen. – Herr talman! Tack så mycket. I min hemstad bor många kurder, och de har under alla de år som konflikten har pågått gett mig information om sin verklighet. Den informationen har varit svår att få via kommissionen eller rådet.

De har gett den till mig från dag ett av konflikten till idag. Hur de först försökte hålla sig utanför konflikten. Hur de försökte hjälpa internflyktingar som strömmade in i landet. Hur hjälpsändningarna inte kom fram. Att de inte fick representera sig själva i fredsförhandlingarna. Att de mitt i alla svårigheter byggt upp en form av demokratiskt styrd autonomi, där alla grupper inkluderas. Hur de tvingades in i kriget mot Daesh. Hur de under hela denna tid motarbetats av Turkiet, som ju också bombar dem. Med mera, med mera.

Jag undrar varför vi i princip aldrig pratar om det som sker i Rojava när vi diskuterar Syrien här. Vi kan inte fortsätta att bara hänvisa till att styret i Rojava en gång i tiden ansågs vara en del av PKK - var en del av PKK. Men vi kan inte hänvisa till det idag. Vi har en helt ny verklighet som vi måste förhålla oss till. Tack!


  Udo Voigt (NI). Herr Präsident! Wir müssen feststellen, dass in Absprache mit Syrien, Iran, Türkei und Russland am letzten Samstag in Syrien vier Schutzzonen eingerichtet worden sind. Ich habe Syrien 2015 und 2016 besucht und in den letzten zwölf Monaten dürfen – müssen – wir eigentlich zur Kenntnis nehmen, dass der Friede in weiten Teilen Syriens zurückgekehrt ist. Von Latakia bis Damaskus, von Aleppo bis Palmyra und Homs herrscht heute Frieden. Die Regierungstruppen haben insgesamt über 1 000 Städte, Dörfer und Gemeinden zurückerobert.

Wie wäre es denn, einmal einen neuen Ansatz der EU zu wählen, einen Umsiedlungsplan, nur umgekehrt? Jetzt die Millionen Flüchtlinge aufzufordern, zurückzugehen in ihre Heimat, und die Länder mit einer Quotenregelung zu versehen, die viele Flüchtlinge haben, und für jeden Flüchtling, der nicht zurückgeht, eine entsprechende Sonderzahlung vorzusehen, damit man dort in Syrien den Menschen beim Wiederaufbau hilft, statt ständig Waffen in diese Gebiete zu liefern?


  David McAllister (PPE). – Mr President, first of all I would like to join the previous speakers in expressing my distress over the massive destruction and human suffering in Syria, including the recent chemical attack and the ongoing bombing and starving of civilians. That is why I absolutely have no understanding for what my colleague, Mr Voigt, just said about the current situation in Syria.

I welcome the Syria strategy presented by the High Representative and Vice-President, because it calls for a comprehensive political solution in Syria through stronger EU involvement and reconstruction efforts. As suggested by the High Representative, once a political settlement has been achieved, the EU could offer vital support during the transition process by assisting a newly-formed government in drafting a new constitution and organising free and fair elections. The experience of Iraq has shown how easily power vacuums are filled by extremists. This is why we need to start thinking of reconstruction and provide long-term support in building governance structures and economic development in close cooperation with local communities. Moreover, given the involvement of regional actors in the Syrian conflict and the ethnic and sectarian tensions in the Middle East, we ought to address conflicts in the wider region and include local actors.

An end to the fighting, humanitarian access and a political settlement must remain our utmost priorities, yet we cannot afford to neglect long-term planning. A broader and more strategic approach that takes local and regional factors into account is necessary to fight extremism and achieve political stability, and that is why, High Representative, you are on the right path. Thank you for your good work.


  Eugen Freund (S&D). – Mr President, yesterday 35 Syrians were killed – innocent people: men, women and eight children – because a bomb from the coalition forces went astray. Just consider for a minute if these were your children, your relatives, your friends, wiped out, within a minute gone forever. It is horrifying because events like the one I have described happen every day – and not just this year, but for the last six years.

What are we doing to bring this to an end? I am afraid not enough. Sure, we help with humanitarian aid but, as for peace efforts, we are relying on the US, the UN and, more recently, on Russia. Does the European Union not have enough power – and I am talking about the political and economic clout – to pressure the proxy powers whose strategic interests are costing the lives of more and more innocent people in Syria?


  Bas Belder (ECR). – Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, u hebt het over een EU-strategie voor Syrië en de-escalatiezones. Ik hecht er altijd aan goed naar de feiten ter plaatse te kijken. Wat zien wij op het ogenblik? Een escalatie, een intensivering van de strijd. Er is geen enkel politiek vergelijk in zicht.

Ik heb daarom een aantal vragen aan u. Bent u uitgenodigd voor het overleg in Astana? Is er vooroverleg geweest tussen één van de spelers daar, namelijk kandidaat-lidstaat Turkije, en de Europese Unie? En wat te denken van de vaak verzwegen maar funeste rol van de Iraanse Revolutionaire Garde in Syrië en de sjiitische milities met al hun gruweldaden, te vergelijken met de soennitische gruweldaden van IS en Al Qaeda?

Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, u was zo trots op en ingenomen met het akkoord met Iran. Hoe combineert u de toenadering tot Iran met de volstrekt destabiliserende rol van het land in de regio? In Israël en Jordanië zijn ze uiterst beducht voor de gevolgen van het in Astana gesloten akkoord en die zogenaamde de-escalatiezones. Vandaar een verheviging van de gevechtentol in Zuid-Syrië. En ik geef ze geen ongelijk. Hoe zwaar wegen Israëlische en Jordaanse veiligheidsbelangen voor u, voor de Europese Unie? Als je kijkt naar het gedrag van de EU-lidstaten, hoe kunnen we dan spreken van een EU-strategie? Ik vind het werkelijk onbegrijpelijk. Maar ja, feiten doen er hier niet meer toe, alleen wishful thinking, zelfverheffing en zelfverheerlijking.


  Urmas Paet (ALDE). – Mr President, High Representative, the war in Syria is in its seventh year. Bombardments continue, innocent civilians are dying, people are being attacked by chemical weapons, children suffer, people lose their homes. Sure, we gather to raise money for humanitarian needs; we help the refugees and try to find ways to keep them from entering Europe; we concentrate on the post-conflict reconstruction of Syria. But the war is far from being over. The EU must find a way to contribute also to finding a solution to the conflict and not leave it only as a prerogative to Russia and Iran. That is why I strongly support the Syria strategy. The EU, as the largest donor, must have a say in the negotiations on the future of Syria. Also, we still need to strive for a solution under the auspices of the United Nations. The EU must actively contribute to the fight against ISIS, and all those responsible for the heinous crimes in Syria must be brought to justice.


  Jaromír Kohlíček (GUE/NGL). – „Vycvičili a vyzbrojili jsme lidi, o kterých nic nevíme, a oni nám přešli k Islámskému státu“, prohlásil Donald Trump. Věčná škoda, že vážení politikové v čele Velké Británie, Francie a Německa, případně na unijní úrovni, nejsou schopni podobné sebereflexe jako prezident Spojených států.

Po podobných sankcích, které postupně vůči syrskému režimu Bašára al-Asada prosazujete, vážení kolegové, dosud nikde na světě nedošlo k pozitivní změně režimu. Sankce spojené s vojenskou intervencí způsobují rozklad v Somálsku i v Libyi. Dlouhodobá krize v Afghánistánu a dalších podobných zemích jsou plodem této nesmyslné politiky.

Dnešní situaci v Sýrii můžeme vyřešit pouze bezpodmínečnou podporou mírových rozhovorů, odstraněním nesmyslných sankcí a masivním programem podpory obnovení infrastruktury a bytového fondu. Ostatní návrhy neřeší ani současnou situaci, ani stabilizaci země, pane Beldere. Hlasujme společně pro mír a odmítněme další kolo kroků ve stylu tradičních koloniálních velmocí.


  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Verehrte Vizepräsidentin, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ja, wir sollten für Frieden stimmen, aber für was für einen Frieden? Frieden der Souveränität der Nationen, der Einheit der Nationen, Frieden, der mit Menschenrechten zu tun hat, oder Friedhofsruhe – all das scheint mir nicht geklärt zu sein. Ich halte die Vorschläge der hohen Beauftragten für gut, dass wir fit sein sollten für die Bedingungen der Friedensstiftung, die auch mit den Aufbauplänen dort zu tun haben und manchem mehr. Ich glaube, das ist dringend notwendig, aber ich mache mir große Sorgen bezüglich der geostrategischen Entwicklung.

Ich habe den Eindruck, dass die Tatsache, dass Russland durch die Bombardierung Aleppos de facto den Friedensprozess von Genf unterbrochen hat, dazu geführt hat, dass Leute wie Herr Voigt jetzt von einer Friedhofsruhe reden können, wobei wir feststellen müssen, dass beispielsweise jetzt eine Konferenz in Astana stattfindet. Und dass wir eine geostrategische Linie von Teheran über das schiitische Bagdad haben können – Assad und Hisbollah –, in der Zusammenarbeit auch mit der Türkei, und dass weder die Vereinigten Staaten noch Europa mit am Verhandlungstisch sitzen.

Es beschäftigt mich schon in einer gewissen Weise, wie wir in diesem proxy war, der es ja ist, auf verschiedenen Ebenen unter Ausschluss der USA und auch Saudi-Arabiens in dieser Frage, auf Dauer eine wirkliche friedliche Lösung zuwege bringen können. Ich glaube, dass dieser Vormarsch von Russland, das die entscheidende Kraft dort sein wird, und die Tatsache, dass alle nach Astana laufen, aber wir de facto nicht da sind, ein großes Problem ist, mit dem wir uns auseinanderzusetzen haben.


  Francisco Assis (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Alta Comissária, queria saudá-la e manifestar a minha concordância, no essencial, com a estratégia que aqui acabou de delinear até porque, francamente, não concebo outra e não ouvi outra no decorrer deste debate.

Ouvi várias críticas mas não houve aqui a apresentação de nenhuma verdadeira estratégia alternativa. O conflito sírio há muito tempo que deixou de ser um conflito estritamente nacional. É um conflito regional com verdadeira projeção mundial, porque apela à participação das principais potências. É um conflito que decorre de confrontações religiosas e de calculismos geopolíticos que estão na sua base e a União europeia deve investir, como a Sra. Alta Comissária aqui referiu, em dois aspetos que são fundamentais: por um lado, contribuir para o esforço de mediação política, em estreita articulação com aquilo que as Nações Unidas têm vindo a fazer e, em particular, o Secretário-Geral das Nações Unidas, e investir fortemente na ajuda humanitária, coisa que já temos vindo a fazer.

A circunstância de não sermos, como também referiu na sua intervenção, um interveniente militar ativo neste processo, concede-nos, neste momento, alguma vantagem neste processo, nesta fase do processo. Por isso, o que se espera e pede à União Europeia é precisamente isso, é que aposte fortemente na mediação política e aposte fortemente na ajuda humanitária, e as notícias que nos trouxe da Conferência de Bruxelas em relação à posição assumida pela União Europeia e por vários Estados europeus são notícias reconfortantes.




  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Ta wojna była straszna od samego początku, ale obserwowaliśmy jej dynamikę, widzieliśmy, do czego prowadzi: do zniszczenia pokoju społecznego, destrukcji życia chrześcijańskiego, uruchomienia straszliwej fali imigracji w kierunku Europy (nie tylko zresztą z Syrii) i na koniec zaangażowania wielkich mocarstw. Dzisiaj mamy tak naprawdę do czynienia nie ze związkami Syrii z Rosją czy z Iranem, tylko z bezpośrednią obecnością Rosji, Iranu, Turcji w tym kraju. A to wszystko dzieje się w sytuacji, kiedy codziennie – jak wielu kolegów mówiło – cierpią tysiące ludzi. Trzeba jak najszybciej doprowadzić do zakończenia tej wojny. Jedyna właściwa strategia to wspieranie działań Staffana de Mistury i jak najszybsze osiągnięcie pragmatycznego pokoju.


  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE). – Mr President, Madam High Representative, undoubtedly, the regime’s forces and those of its allies are responsible for the systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law. Sadly, this April, the Syrian regime conducted a chemical attack against civilians in Idlib province, where at least 70 civilians, many of them children, were killed, and hundreds more injured. Therefore, I call on the EU to continue its policy of imposing sanctions targeting the Damascus regime and its supporters as long as repression continues.

Only the wilfully blind would think that President Assad is part of the peace solution, when he has been the main source of violence and instability.

In addition, I call on the EU to continue to provide humanitarian support to Syria. But we have to be careful not to provide unconditional assistance to the Syrian Government.


  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, depois de ter organizado, armado, financiado e apoiado os grupos terroristas que levaram a guerra civil à Síria, a administração norte-americana, arrastando a União Europeia, decidiu mostrar, mais uma vez, que pretende impor o seu domínio mundial pela força das armas e com a ameaça da guerra.

Repetem-se, assim, acusações não comprovadas quanto à utilização de armas químicas. Não se permite sequer uma investigação idónea e imparcial que o próprio Governo sírio requereu, fazendo lembrar a invocação das armas de destruição maciça aquando da agressão ao Iraque e todo um rol de mentiras relativamente à Líbia.

Repete-se o desrespeito pela ONU, pela sua Carta, pelos seus princípios e regras de funcionamento; repete-se a violação do Direito Internacional com o bombardeamento de um Estado soberano, a ameaça de destruição de um país e o desrespeito pelos mais fundamentais direitos do povo sírio.

Deveria ser dever deste Parlamento condenar a guerra de agressão à Síria e ao seu povo e apelar à paz, a uma solução política que garanta o respeito pelo direito do povo sírio à sua soberania, independência e integridade territorial.


  László Tőkés (PPE). – Elnök Úr, az immár hat esztendeje tartó háború nyomán jelenleg 13,5 millióan szorulnak humanitárius segítségre az országban, közülük több millióan belső menekültek, további 5 millió szíriai menekültet pedig a szomszéd államok és a tágabban vett térség országai fogadtak be. A Szírián belüli humanitárius segélyezésben az Európai Unió és tagországai járnak az élen. Ezzel együtt elégtétellel mondhatom, hogy hazám, Magyarország szintén cselekvő részese ennek a támogatáspolitikának, különleges figyelmet fordítva az üldözött keresztény közösségek megsegítésére. Tartós politikai eredményre a térségben csupán akkor lehet számítani, hogyha a célul kitűzött békés megoldás érdekében az Egyesült Államoknak és Oroszországnak sikerül megegyezésre jutniuk és együttműködniük. Az érintett feleknek, Európának és az egész világnak közös érdeke, hogy az orosz–amerikai megállapodás létrejöjjön. Az Európai Parlament részvételével létrehozott uniós stratégia döntő fontosságú hozzájárulás lehet a régen várt megoldáshoz és megbékéléshez. Az Uniónak abban is meghatározó szerepet kell vállalnia, hogy az elűzött etnikai és vallási közösségek szülőföldjükre mielőbb hazatérjenek, és elkezdődjék a kivérzett és romba döntött ország újjáépítése.


  Δημήτρης Παπαδάκης (S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η κατάσταση στη Συρία παραμένει τραγική. Η συμβολή της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και της κυρίας Mogherini ειδικότερα στην επίτευξη μιας μόνιμης πολιτικής λύσης στη Συρία είναι καθοριστική. Το ζητούμενο είναι να επέλθει ειρήνη σ’ αυτήν την ταλαιπωρημένη χώρα, ούτως ώστε να επανέλθει στην ομαλότητα και να μπορέσει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να συντελέσει στην ανοικοδόμηση. Η Ευρώπη μπορεί να κάνει πολύ περισσότερα για μια Συρία ενωμένη, δημοκρατική, με πολιτική σταθερότητα και αυτή είναι ευθύνη, σε μεγαλύτερο βαθμό, του Συμβουλίου. Πρέπει να μπούμε μπροστά, να αναλάβουμε εμείς τις πρωτοβουλίες. Πρέπει η Ευρώπη να είναι, για ένα πρόβλημα το οποίο την απασχολεί, ο κυρίαρχος παίκτης πολύ περισσότερο από τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και τη Ρωσία. Και στα πλαίσια αυτών των πρωτοβουλιών πρέπει να αξιοποιηθεί το ακρότατο σημείο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, η Κύπρος. Η Κύπρος είναι πολύ κοντά στη Συρία και πρέπει να είναι το πολιτικό και διπλωματικό ορμητήριο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Γι’ αυτό πρέπει να γίνει μια διάσκεψη στην Κύπρο και την ίδια στιγμή να εγκατασταθεί εκεί επιτελείο σε σχέση με το συριακό. Έτσι θα στείλουμε και το ουσιαστικό μήνυμα ότι η Ευρώπη είναι εκεί, δεν επισκέπτεται και φεύγει μονάχα.


  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Комисар, ситуацията в Сирия изисква честна и трезва оценка, справедливо решение и международно съгласие. Серията от преврати, наречена „арабски пролети“ не донесе пропагандираните цели, а именно демокрация и просперитет на държавите, а напротив – създаде хаос и разрушения, страдания, анклави, управлявани от мракобесни главорези, силно разделени на религиозна основа вътре в исляма общества.

Има едно незаобиколимо условие за стабилизирането на Сирия и то е недопускането на фанатиците на власт. Не трябва да бъде допускана грешката и провалът от Ирак, когато беше разпадната държавата, на чиито развалини покълна Ислямска държава.

Така наречената „умерена опозиция“ в никакъв случай не е надежден партньор в изграждането на Сирия и издигането й от пепелищата на войната. Част от нея е под контрола на турски диктатор, друга част е под контрола на не по-малко бруталната Саудитска Арабия. Прочее, защо никой в тази зала не споменава за зловещата роля на Саудитска Арабия в кръвопролитията в Сирия? Оставам с впечатлението, че в залата цари срам и страх от това да бъдат посочени преките виновници за кървавата сирийска кланица – Саудитска Арабия, Катар и Турция. Може би милиардните сделки между държави – членки на ЕС и Саудитска Арабия са причината за това срамно и позорно мълчание, а това, колеги, е лицемерие.

В заключение, границите на Сирия трябва да бъдат безусловно гарантирани, домогванията на Риад и Анкара до тези територии пресечени, а главорезите–фанатици унищожени.

(Ораторът приема да отговори на въпрос, зададен чрез вдигане на синя карта (член 162, параграф 8 от Правилника за дейността)).


  Stanislav Polčák (PPE), otázka položená zvednutím modré karty. – Já s celou řadou vašich tvrzení souhlasím, situace v Sýrii je skutečně velmi tragická už mnoho let.

Jen se vás chci zeptat, vy jste hovořil o tom, že potřebujeme příslušnou analýzu situace v Sýrii ve světle těch mnoha set tisíc životů, které tragédie v Sýrii stála. Nemyslíte si, že po těch několika letech bojů bychom už ty analýzy měli mít a měli bychom i stát před konkrétními návrhy řešení té situace?


  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR), отговор на въпрос, зададен чрез вдигане на синя карта. – Благодаря Ви за въпроса, колега. Да, прав сте, анализът трябваше да бъде изготвен и представен от Европейската комисия тук. Но има няколко фактора в тази сирийска криза, които се премълчават и заобикалят, а това са именно ролята на Катар, на Саудитска Арабия и на Турция и те не трябва да бъдат изоставени и не трябва да бъдат неглижирани, защото по този начин няма да бъде намерено трайното решение. Това е моят отговор.


  Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, the extremely complex conflict in Syria has created the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. Daesh and other Jihadist groups have been party to cruel and brutal atrocities, and serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by Assad and Western—funded rebel forces. No one side should be exempt from prosecution for war crimes. The use of chemical weapons must be investigated by a properly-resourced UN mechanism, regardless of who the perpetrator is. Such war crimes cannot go unpunished.

I welcome the fact that further peace talks are starting today. We should support the UN rapporteur on these peace talks because there is no military solution to Syria, and all the sides involved must engage in the peace process in a meaningful manner. The Kurdish forces and people deserve their own stand—alone seat in those negotiations through the PYD, and any establishment of zones must serve the innocent civilians of Syria and not geopolitical interests.


  Lorenzo Cesa (PPE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Alto rappresentante, siamo al settimo anno di guerra in Siria, siamo di fronte alla peggiore crisi umanitaria dopo la Seconda guerra mondiale. Ho visto su una mappa la dislocazione delle forze in campo e ci troviamo di fronte a un mosaico di differenti realtà, con conflitti etnici e territoriali che appaiono spesso inconciliabili.

La situazione, lo sappiamo, è drammatica ma non possiamo arrenderci. Occorre fare ogni sforzo per arrivare alla pace e per centrare questo obiettivo non possiamo affidarci ai paesi che sono oggi impegnati sul campo, che sono solo portatori del loro interessi. L'unica speranza è che il lavoro che si sta svolgendo oggi a Ginevra, da parte dell'ONU, da parte di Staffan De Mistura, vada a buon fine.

Signora Mogherini, l'unica cosa che si deve fare è sostenere con forza questo tentativo dell'ONU e, se non centriamo l'obiettivo della pace, la nostra azione come Europa potrà essere solo ed esclusivamente una: rafforzare il grande lavoro fin qui svolto in termini umanitari sia all'interno della Siria sia all'esterno, dove si trovano milioni di rifugiati.

Se, come tutti speriamo, a Ginevra si arriverà a una conclusione positiva, l'Europa avrà già le idee chiare su quello che si deve fare. Ho letto con attenzione la comunicazione da Lei presentata lo scorso 14 marzo, in cui sono descritti in maniera chiara i sei punti su cui l'Europa dovrà agire. Su questi sei punti, che ci ha ricordato poco fa, penso che non possa che esserci un sostegno forte e convinto di questo Parlamento, e speriamo che questo avvenga presto.


  Javi López (S&D). – Señor presidente, Federica Mogherini, la verdad es que la guerra en Siria es el mayor fracaso de la comunidad internacional durante las últimas décadas, una guerra descorazonadora y vergonzosa para el conjunto de la comunidad internacional.

La Unión Europea ha estado dando cobertura y ayudando a todas las negociaciones multilaterales que, con el auspicio de Naciones Unidas, se han llevado durante los últimos años. Hoy, en Ginebra, debemos continuar haciéndolo, porque la negociación política es la única salida, con un triple objetivo: reconciliación nacional, transición democrática, gobernanza inclusiva; y, a la vez, justicia, y juzgar los crímenes de guerra que han sido cometidos por diferentes actores en Siria.

Para eso, ¿cuál es nuestra mayor palanca? Ser el mayor donante sobre el territorio —la alta representante ya lo ha indicado, lo ha subrayado: es nuestra mayor fortaleza para influir— y recordar que de telón de fondo tenemos un Oriente Medio con una pugna geopolítica de diferentes fuerzas y que tenemos que ser capaces de tener fuerza suficiente también en materia de seguridad y defensa para estabilizar y pacificar esta región que hoy está en llamas.


  Mirosław Piotrowski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Mówimy dziś o strategii Unii Europejskiej na rzecz Syrii.

Przypomnę, że Parlament pół roku temu przyjął rezolucję, w której w punkcie piętnastym, co zostało zapisane, domagamy się poszanowania praw mniejszości etnicznych i religijnych w Syrii, w tym chrześcijan. Wiemy, że sytuacja chrześcijan jest dramatyczna, stąd ze zdziwieniem odnotowuję, że w przedłożonej przez Radę strategii z ubiegłego miesiąca w ogóle nie zauważa się tego problemu.

W nakreślonych sześciu obszarach, gdzie zapewnia, że Unia nadal będzie wspierać syryjską opozycję, propagować demokrację i wolność słowa, Rada nie odnosi się do sytuacji chrześcijan w tym kraju, którzy są uprowadzani, torturowani i zabijani. A już chociażby z samej racji, że ojcami założycielami Unii Europejskiej byli chrześcijańscy demokraci – Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer – należałoby więcej uwagi i konkretnych działań koncentrować na tych zagadnieniach.


  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Señor presidente, tras años de guerra el conflicto sirio parece enquistado y la complejidad sobre el terreno es tal que cualquier iniciativa se encuentra con importantes obstáculos desde el principio. Ya se han mencionado el acuerdo alcanzado en Astaná a principios de este mes y las llamadas «de—escalation zones», pero es preciso conocer los detalles de este acuerdo, en el que los países de Occidente, por así decirlo, no hemos tenido papel alguno.

Cierto es que, considerando la experiencia de estos últimos años, son lógicas las dudas sobre la viabilidad de este acuerdo y la voluntad política de las partes para ejecutarlo. Incluso hay preocupación por que estas llamadas «zonas seguras» pueden ser aprovechadas para alterar el equilibrio del poder o el equilibrio demográfico, o incluso, para romper la unidad territorial siria. A mí me gustaría que, durante la nueva ronda de negociaciones de esta semana en Ginebra, se arroje un poco más de luz sobre esta iniciativa de Astaná, y que usted nos hable un poco de ella.

En cualquier caso, como también señala el señor De Mistura, es preciso aprovechar el momento actual y redoblar los esfuerzos para avanzar hacia un alto el fuego. Desde luego, el objetivo estratégico central es poner fin a la guerra, pero mientras este no se alcance ―y no parece que esté cerca―, tenemos la obligación moral de seguir respondiendo a las necesidades humanitarias de la población.

Por ello, señora Mogherini, celebro el trabajo que, en este aspecto humanitario, la Unión y los Estados miembros están realizando, y también celebro los compromisos alcanzados en la conferencia de Bruselas del pasado abril.


  Kati Piri (S&D). – Mr President, let me start by saying that we greatly appreciate the ongoing efforts of High Representative Mogherini to reach out to the key actors in the region with a view to resuming the political transition, post—conflict reconciliation and reconstruction of Syria. While it is important to discuss the future of Syria, the present does not give a lot of hope that the immense suffering of the Syrian people will end very soon.

Therefore let me ask the High Representative two questions. Firstly, the meeting between President Trump and President Erdogan is about to start as we speak. Whereas the US has decided to arm Syrian Kurdish forces in the upcoming offensive to take Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold, Turkey’s Syria policy has become focused on the primary goal of preventing the rise of a Kurdish entity in northern Syria at all costs. Obviously, arming the Syrian Kurdish forces also has an impact on the internal situation in Turkey. The larger Kurdish issue can no longer be ignored. How is the EU helping to develop a comprehensive policy and to push for a Turkish-Kurdish peace deal on all fronts?

Secondly, and very briefly, Russia, Turkey and Iran recently signed a memorandum in which they also discussed de—escalation zones. Could you please give me your comments on that agreement?


  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospodine predsjedniče, strategija Europske unije za Siriju je dobrodošla, ali bojim se da je zakašnjela. Sukob je od prvog dana sve samo ne crno-bijel, a očito je da su u njega umiješane obavještajne zajednice više svjetskih sila. Tako je Sirija postala globalno igralište za testiranje moći i odmjeravanje snaga, a sad netko mora sanirati posljedice.

Jesam za to da se uključimo jer sirijski narod zaslužuje pomoć, ali se doista nadam da ćemo biti učinkovitiji nego dosad. Zapadni su se lideri od prvog dana otvoreno svrstali na stranu tzv. pobunjenika, pokušavajući ih predstaviti kao konstruktivnu oporbu Assadovu režimu. Ispalo je sasvim suprotno, da su oni sve samo ne miroljubiva i konstruktivna opozicija.

Nadam se da i u primjeni ove strategije nećemo počiniti takve teške pogreške jer Sirija ne može podnijeti nove neuspjele pokuse.


  Lars Adaktusson (PPE). – Mr President, a crucial moment in the Syrian war is approaching. The so-called capital of ISIS is about to fall, or rather the city of Raqqa is about to be liberated by forces supported by the international coalition. These troops, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have proved to be those effective feet on the ground that Western leaders hoped for. Despite Turkish condemnation, the United States last week decided to directly support the Kurdish part of SDF. The Arab part of the SDF has already received support, so the US decision should be seen as a calculated move to strengthen those in Syria who have proved to be reliable allies.

SDF is the armed forces of a multi-ethnic region that is trying to implement democracy. The ambition is to include all groups in the decision-making. Because of this, I encourage the Commission to study the developments of the Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava). I also encourage the Commission to work for an end to the blockade of the region. Let humanitarian aid in and give people a fair chance to continue their path towards democracy.


  Boris Zala (S&D). – Mr President, today it is self-evident that European strategies towards Syria have failed. The EU was consistently sidelined in the UN-sponsored negotiations. We are constantly being surprised by the moves of others: the US, Turkey, Russia and Iran. Collectively the European countries are the largest humanitarian donor in Syria, but this does not translate into any real influence on the dynamics of the conflict. It is, of course, difficult for the EU to play geopolitics, even peacemaking, without real military weight.

The EU will never be the leading player in brokering a lasting ceasefire, let alone a political transition in Syria. Our best chance is to become an actor who opens up the political space and creates incentives for UN negotiations to succeed through confidence-building, financial support and future reconstruction, as well as through sanctions and measures to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice.


  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Mr President, first of all I would like to join those colleagues who welcome the strategy for Syria. In this horrifying conflict, the EU needs to step up its efforts and play a greater role in finding a lasting political solution. We need to be able to react promptly to changing realities on the ground and to challenges in the region. We should be acting in areas where we are able to make a real difference, be it through diplomatic support or post-agreement reconstruction and reconciliation in the region. We should step up our contribution to the political process under the UN-agreed framework and at the same time continue in our resilience and humanitarian support under the ‘Whole Syria’ approach.

I welcome the fact that the EU strategy is outlining EU readiness to help in transition processes and the reconstruction of Syria. This will be a hard and extremely complicated task. Therefore, we need to have a clear idea of how to do it. Contributing to a political solution to the Syrian crisis is by all means a great challenge – however, not the only one we are facing in the region. We have to remain sensitive to the stability of the neighbouring countries: Jordan or Lebanon, but also Turkey. In this respect I would like to appeal to the High Representative to carefully monitor developments in the region and be ready to follow the strategic goals outlined in this strategy.


  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Alto rappresentante, Lei ha ragione a segnalarci la strategia dell'Unione europea in questa fase delicata, perché proprio quando tutto sembra cedere alla violenza della guerra senza fine, quando di volta in volta sembra decisivo e quasi esclusivo il ruolo di una singola potenza regionale, tanto più ritorna la forza della nostra iniziativa politica e diplomatica. E noi su questo dobbiamo tenere il passo fermo.

Mantenere innanzitutto gli impegni presi per l'azione umanitaria. È decisivo e fondamentale accompagnare ai nove miliardi che abbiamo investito, abbiamo deciso di prendere un impegno per il 2017, una continua e costruttiva azione sul campo; aiutare la Giordania e il Libano, che sono i paesi più esposti in questa vicenda e, infine, questo è il passaggio più politico che vorrei segnalare, tenere insieme Astana e Ginevra. Non dividerci, né qui né nell'azione diplomatica, ma considerare i due momenti come complementari di un'azione politica che deve portare al cessate il fuoco sul campo e consentire così poi l'azione politica necessaria per la ricostruzione politica, il futuro della Siria.

A me pare che questo sia il terreno su cui noi dobbiamo decidere la nostra iniziativa e la nostra azione e l'azione a cui Lei sta coraggiosamente tenendo fede come Unione europea.


  Tunne Kelam (PPE). – Mr President, I would say to Mrs Mogherini that a strategy for Syria is needed and this is better late than never, as has already been said. But the problem is that the EU’s role from the start of the Syrian conflict has been, let us say, hesitant, trying to avoid involvement in the conflict. Paradoxically, the Syrian war has now entered European homes. But now, as Mr Tannock has said, the Syrian conflict has turned from an internal war into an international proxy war. The void left by the non—involvement of the US and the EU has been filled by Russia, Iran, Turkey and local extremists. Without the full assistance of Russia and Iran, the Assad regime would probably have collapsed about two years ago. What is the price of non-involvement?

The second point: safe zones. There has been outcry in Syria from the beginning and up until today, and there are still five million people under siege or difficult to reach. We are eager to provide humanitarian aid and that is very good, but the question is how to reach the people without safe zones. Third, no effective conflict resolution or sustainable peace is possible without full accountability. War crimes must be investigated. Assad is out of any international agreement because of his war crimes, and his only destination can be the International Criminal Court in The Hague.


  Jaromír Štětina (PPE). – Rada EU vytyčila letos v dubnu strategii EU pro Sýrii. Podle Rady je EU pevně přesvědčena, že konflikt nelze řešit vojensky. Stejně tak rezoluce 2254 Rady bezpečnosti OSN dává přednost politickému řešení.

Obě tyto rezoluce trpí nedostatkem odvahy. Rezoluce Rady bezpečnosti z obav před vetem Ruské federace, Rada EU se obává nařčení z radikalismu. Ano, dámy a pánové, nedopusťme, aby se nerozhodnost, obavy, neschopnost přijmout zodpovědnost staly součástí evropské zahraniční politiky.

Vztah EU k Sýrii připomíná bezradnost Evropy v době kosovské krize. Nebyla to Unie, kdo dokázal zastavit Miloševičovu etnickou čistku kosovských Albánců. Bylo to NATO a Spojené státy, které genocidu bombardováním v Jugoslávii zastavily. Jakoby se situace opakovala. Primární roli řešit syrskou krizi EU doposud sehrát nedokáže. Spojené státy a jimi řízená koalice už našly dostatek odhodlání vojensky podporovat boj syrských Kurdů YPG a YPJ proti ISIS.

Hledání dnešního Javiera Solany pokračuje. Třeba se v EU vynoří a otevřeně podpoří statečný odpor Kurdů proti ISIS.


  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). – gerbiamoji Aukštoji įgaliotine, mums gerai žinomos Europos Sąjungos ir apskritai tarptautinės bendruomenės pastangos sureguliuoti konfliktą Sirijoje. Tačiau laikas bėga, karas tęsiasi jau šešerius metus, o taikos Sirijoje nėra. Europos Sąjungos iniciatyvos, ypatingai civilių apsaugos, humanitarinės pagalbos Sirijos žmonėms srityje vertas pagarbos. Tačiau jos neišsprendžia konflikto. Londono ir Briuselio konferencijos – taip pat geros iniciatyvos, bet labiausiai reikia politinio sprendimo ir konflikto sureguliavimo, reikia taikos Sirijoje.

Kaip mes, Europos Sąjunga, apskritai atrodome šiame geopolitiniame žaidime? Jūs tvirtinate, kad Europos Sąjunga turi galimybių vaidinti svarbesnį vaidmenį siekiant taikaus konflikto sureguliavimo šioje šalyje. Tai kodėl tų galimybių, jeigu jos yra, mes neišnaudojame. Šiandien čia jau buvo minėta apie Jūsų kontaktus Irane, kurie galėtų būti išnaudoti. Jeigu yra ta galimybė, išnaudokime ją. Balandžio pabaigoje Jūs lankėtės Maskvoje. Tikiuosi, kad ten buvo kalbėta ir apie Siriją. Apskritai, ar Rusija de fakto dar dalyvauja Ženevos procese? Ar yra bent kokių vilčių, kad jie galėtų pakeisti savo poziciją dėl paramos Assad‘ui? Tai yra klausimai, į kuriuos mes laukiame atsakymų.



  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, u Siriji je u šest godina izgubljeno više od 400 tisuća života, a 11 milijuna napustilo je svoje domove. Šestogodišnji rat u potpunosti je promijenio živote svih stanovnika Sirije, no sirijski kršćani pritom su posebno ranjivi jer su suočeni s jednim jedinim izborom: prijeći na islam ili umrijeti, u otvorenoj namjeri islamskih terorista da kršćanstvo u potpunosti iskorijene iz tih prostora.

Od 1,25 milijuna kršćana koliko ih je u Siriji bilo prije početka rata, danas ih je ostalo manje od 500 tisuća. Sirija je šesta na listi zemalja u kojima je najopasnije biti kršćanin. Kršćani koji su preostali u toj zemlji laka su meta jer su geografski koncentrirani na nekoliko mjesta, a gotovo sve crkve u potpunosti su razorene.

No sirijski kršćani ne žele otići iz svoje domovine, oni žele ostati u svojim domovima, a mi ne smijemo dopustiti da kršćanstvo nestane s tih prostora. Sigurna i stabilna Sirija za sve svoje stanovnike – takva Sirija mora biti.

Zveket oružja, eksplozija bombi, stalni strah koji su sirijska svakodnevnica u posljednjih nekoliko godina moraju prestati. Sirija je zaslužila mir i Europska unija može i mora učiniti više kako bi se mir postigao, posebice kako bi se zaštitili svi ljudski životi, a posebno oni koji su najugroženiji, a to su kršćani.


  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Myslím, že všichni si přejeme mír v Sýrii, a proto vítáme to, že EU má strategii. Otázkou zůstává, na kolik jsou cíle proklamované v této strategii realistické, jestliže velkou část syrského území stále ovládá Islámský stát a když Asadova a Putinova armáda místo džihádistů masakruje umírněnou opozici.

Strategie EU počítá s úkolem číslo jedna, s politickým řešením konfliktu. Pokud má toto řešení být reálné, pak musí dojít ke společnému postupu všech hlavních sil. Proto odmítám ruské veto proti rezoluci Rady bezpečnosti, která požaduje po Asadově režimu spolupráci s mezinárodními vyšetřovateli dubnového chemického útoku.

Dámy a pánové, domníváte se, že by Asad byl ochoten k jednání, kdyby USA nebombardovaly Asadovy ozbrojené složky? Obávám se, že Asad by nebyl ochoten ani dnes ještě k jednání.

Já oceňuji to, že EU zaměřila svoji pozornost do budoucnosti. Především na humanitární pomoc a také na vzdělávání. V Turecku, Jordánsku a Libanonu totiž žije 1,5 milionu syrských dětí a ty potřebují vzdělávání. Jsem tedy ráda, že EU poskytuje pomoc na vzdělání těchto dětí a myslí na budoucnost Sýrie.


Procedura "catch-the-eye"


  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, Rethink Rebuild based in Manchester is one of many grassroots Syrian civil society support groups from 17 different countries who are asking for urgent and robust action to address the situation at its root, namely through civilian protection. Here is their recommendation for you:

‘We are tired of the endless political negotiations, which we know will fail because of Assad and his allies’ contempt for such processes and for international law more generally. We are frustrated that endless amounts of humanitarian aid are being doled out to Syria, whilst we have not been able to end the humanitarian crisis itself. We therefore call upon the international community to implement immediate and enforceable measures with a defined scope and the purpose of civilian protection, and in compliance with international humanitarian law to address the root issue in Syria, namely, civilian protection from the Assad and Russian killing machine. Whatever route the international community chooses to follow, it must put this at the heart of its policy, and a failure to do so will only mean that the resulting humanitarian refugee and terrorism crises will continue. #safelyinsyria


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, είναι πράγματι τραγική η κατάσταση στη Συρία, με χιλιάδες θύματα και εκατομμύρια πρόσφυγες. Δεν ακούσαμε όμως μια πραγματική στρατηγική απ’ την πλευρά της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, που θα οδηγήσει στην ομαλότητα, που θα βάλει πραγματικά την Ευρώπη να παίξει σημαντικότερο ρόλο. Αντ’ αυτού, παρατηρούμε ότι η Ευρώπη έχει αφήσει τη Σαουδική Αραβία, το Κατάρ και την Τουρκία κυριολεκτικά να αλωνίζουν. Την Τουρκία, η οποία συνεχώς κάνει λαθρεμπόριο πετρελαίου με το ISIS. Την Τουρκία η οποία εξοπλίζει το ISIS. Δεν είδαμε να υπάρχουν δράσεις πραγματικά για το χτύπημα του ISIS. Αντίθετα, αφήνουμε την Τουρκία να διαλύει τους Κούρδους, τη στιγμή που είναι αναγκαίο να δημιουργηθεί ένα κουρδικό κράτος στην περιοχή. Πιστεύουμε ότι πρέπει να υπάρξει μεγαλύτερη εμπλοκή του ΟΗΕ στην ειρηνευτική διαδικασία και να αξιοποιηθεί και η Ελλάδα και η Κύπρος, που διατηρούν ιστορικές σχέσεις με την περιοχή και ιδίως με τη Συρία.


  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le président, Madame la Haute Représentante, j’étais il y a un peu plus de six mois en visite dans un camp de réfugiés syriens en Turquie. J’ai pu mesurer le travail qui était fait à la fois par l’ONU et, surtout, par les ONG, qui permettaient à ces Syriens réfugiés de vivre dans des conditions presque acceptables.

Mais les Syriens avec lesquels nous avons pu discuter n’avaient qu’une envie: retourner dans leur pays. Et je crois effectivement que l’aide humanitaire est une bonne chose, mais qu’aujourd’hui, il faut aller beaucoup plus loin. Il faut essayer de trouver une solution politique parce qu’on a rarement vu des conflits qui se réglaient par la guerre. Je crois beaucoup à la solution politique.

C’est compliqué, c’est vrai, car dans ce secteur-là, il y a les Russes, les Américains, l’Iran et la Turquie avec la question kurde également. C’est compliqué mais je crois que vous êtes sur la bonne voie et qu’il faut effectivement tout mettre en œuvre pour cette solution politique.


  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ως στρατηγικός εταίρος και χρηματοδότης οφείλει να εμπλακεί αποφασιστικά στις ειρηνευτικές διαδικασίες στη Συρία. Η εμπλοκή όμως αυτή θα πρέπει να είναι ειλικρινής και αμερόληπτη. Δεν είναι δυνατόν να υποστηρίζει αναφανδόν τη συριακή αντιπολίτευση και να έχει την απαίτηση να θεωρηθεί ως σωστός και αντικειμενικός εταίρος από την κυβέρνηση Άσαντ. Επίσης, σε μια πολυεθνική σύγκρουση στη Συρία δεν μπορεί να αναζητά εγκληματίες πολέμου μόνο στην κυβερνητική πλευρά. Εξάλλου, η εμπλοκή της πρέπει να είναι μέσα στα όρια της λογικής. Δεν μπορεί να ζητά αυτή τη στιγμή τη δημιουργία ζωνών απαγορεύσεως πτήσεως και ασφαλών ζωνών στο έδαφος, τη στιγμή κατά την οποία διεξάγονται ακόμη χερσαίες και αεροπορικές επιχειρήσεις προκειμένου να ηττηθεί ο ISIS. Για να έχει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αποφασιστική και επιτυχή εμπλοκή στη Συρία πρέπει να ακολουθήσει μία πολιτική απαλλαγμένη από αγκυλώσεις και εξυπηρέτηση σκοπιμοτήτων και πρέπει να αποφασίσει να εμπλακεί η ίδια και να μην αφήνει άλλους να εκτελούν έργα για λογαριασμό της.


  Branislav Škripek (ECR). – Mr President, first of all I thank the High Representative for her statement. As many colleagues have already said, we need to end the conflict in Syria urgently. As you might have heard, in the northern region of Syria, in Rojava canton, there is a democratic regional self-administration, the Federation of Northern Syria. Kurds, Syriacs, Yazidis, Turkmen and Arabs are cooperating peacefully in this region, making a model for the whole country.

High Representative, there is a great need for humanitarian aid in this Federation of Northern Syria. Unfortunately, the KDP is still blocking the area. The situation is worsening. Therefore, I urge you to do whatever you can to stop this blockade and to send humanitarian aid to this region. We need better political cooperation between the European Union and the Federation of Northern Syria. We really need to fully cooperate with a real democracy in the region. Therefore, High Representative, I call upon you to normalise the relations with the Federation as soon as possible.


  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la guerra in Siria continua ad avere conseguenze devastanti e tragiche. Dall'inizio del conflitto sarebbero circa 500 000 i morti e oltre 5 milioni i rifugiati, un disastro di proporzioni bibliche.

Ma all'orrore non c'è mai fine. È di queste ore l'accusa lanciata dagli Stati Uniti secondo cui a Saydnaya, a pochi chilometri dalla capitale siriana, sarebbe stato individuato un carcere provvisto addirittura di forno crematorio per lasciare senza tracce i crimini commessi.

In questo contesto va considerata con favore la strategia messa in campo dall'Unione europea che prevede, tra le altre cose, il perseguimento dei responsabili per i crimini di guerra e l'assistenza umanitaria alla popolazione civile. La situazione in Siria è gravissima e nel contempo complessa per l'effetto del sovrapporsi di varie tensioni. L'Unione europea è la potenza mondiale che senza dubbio ha i maggiori interessi a una stabilizzazione dell'intera area mediterranea ed è anche per questo che non può non svolgere un ruolo di primo piano nel processo di pacificazione.

Grazie, Alto rappresentante Mogherini per le proposte fatte e per quanto sta coraggiosamente facendo.


  Csaba Sógor (PPE). – Mr President, the appalling consequences of the Syrian conflict that erupted six years ago amount to possibly the worst humanitarian tragedy in recent world history. The continuing horrific actions taking place, from violence by terrorists to military actions against civilians, including those in hospitals, have long made us feel helpless and desperate. However, we should be hopeful that one day soon IS will be thrown out of Raqqa by the American-backed coalition forces. We should be fully prepared for that moment so that when the time comes we can stand as strong guarantors of a genuinely inclusive political transition, and as reliable partners in the reconstruction of a stable Syrian society. As the largest humanitarian and financial donor, we are in a good position to demand a strong say in the peace negotiations and in the reconstruction of the country.


  Κώστας Μαυρίδης ( S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, δεν ανεχόμαστε τα εγκλήματα του συριακού καθεστώτος αλλά δεν ανεχόμαστε τα εγκλήματα κανενός στη Συρία. Κυρία Mogherini, θα συμφωνήσετε μαζί μου, δεν υπάρχουν καλοί και κακοί δολοφόνοι ανυπεράσπιστων ανθρώπων. Το ισλαμικό κράτος ήταν και παραμένει η κυριότερη πηγή των αποτρόπαιων εγκλημάτων στη Συρία και ο κυριότερος σύμμαχος της διεθνούς συμμαχίας εναντίον του ισλαμικού κράτους είναι, και αποδείχτηκε στην πράξη, το κουρδικό YPG, αλλά η Τουρκία αντιδρά και το ονομάζει «τρομοκράτες» και το βομβαρδίζει. Οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες επέλεξαν ήδη το YPG ως τον δυνητικό τους σύμμαχο εναντίον του ισλαμικού κράτους. Εμείς που βρισκόμαστε; Θα καθορίζει η Τουρκία την πολιτική μας; Και τελειώνω με ένα ερώτημα: πόσο πιο αποτελεσματικό θα ήταν αν υπήρχε κοινή πολιτική άμυνας και ασφάλειας, με κοινές αμυντικές δομές.


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


  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I will start with a ‘good summary’, as I think our colleague Marietje Schaake put it.

First, the European Union is united on a Syria strategy with clear objectives and indicators for action, and I am glad to see that Parliament is no exception in the European unity that has at last been achieved with regard to the direction of our actions to bring the Syrian crisis to an end.

Second, and still quoting our colleague, we can now use all our means of leverage – and there are many in different fields – to support, in the best possible way, the only solution we see, which is a political solution under UN auspices. And let us be very clear on what our means of leverage are.

First, the humanitarian one. Humanitarian aid, I must make clear, is never linked to political considerations. Our humanitarian support goes to anyone who needs to be helped, anywhere in Syria, with no political consideration whatsoever. Some of you referred, for instance, to the World Food Programme air-dropping food aid. That is happening thanks to European Union support, so all the aid you are seeing, all the children you are seeing saved, all the aid, food and medical equipment you see being delivered, is because of European Union work. We are not an aid delivery agency but we are the ones that make it possible for the UN agencies to do the work on the ground. So our role as a credible humanitarian donor, I believe, gives us the credibility vis-à-vis the Syrian civil population that allows us to play a sound political role in support of the UN process.

The second means of leverage we have is reconstruction. Some of you argue, or question whether, it is too early to reflect on reconstruction for the future of Syria. Some of you say it is too late, some of you say it is too early. The important thing is to have clear ideas of what you need to do at every stage of the story, which unfortunately is a very bad story.

There is a powerful element in our starting to look at the possibilities for reconstruction. First, because it offers a positive scenario, a peace dividend, and encourages the various parties to compromise in Geneva, because they know that if they agree on a political solution, if the political transition starts, if we go towards a democratic transition with inclusive governance and reconciliation, there will be someone in the international community – starting with the European Union but not us alone – who, on the basis of that political agreement, will be ready to work on the rebirth of the country. This scenario encourages the Syrians – and they need a horizon of hope – and puts pressure on the Syrian parties talking in Geneva, because what the Syrian people want is to make peace. And if we fuel this request for peace among the Syrian population with the perspective of normal life returning to the country, and accountability and reconciliation, then this will also create a little bit more space for the political talks in Geneva to take place, entering into the substance of what is going to be the future set up of Syria. As I said, it should be a united, democratic, diverse, secular and reconciled country. United – not fragmented or split into areas of influence.

The third element that Marietje Schaake mentioned was our leverage with Iran. Many of you mentioned Russia and the United States, and I will come to that in a moment. I believe that the European Union is best positioned in the world probably to talk with one of the main actors in this crisis. Now I will not elaborate here on the assessment of the role of Iran in the crisis because I think you know that very well, but if you want to make peace you have to talk to those who are making war, and we are among the few that have good, constructive conversations with Iran – in some cases trust-based, and always very frank, conversations.

Do not imagine that we are not doing this. We are, on a daily basis, and this is what we have been doing with the regional initiative. Why is it so important, if it is not getting headlines? Why have we chosen the regional approach? Because it is Syrians who have to have the courage for the transition and the compromise and the solution, the political solution. And we need to build the conditions in the region for all the different actors, from Saudi Arabia to Iran, from Turkey to Egypt, and the neighbouring countries, Jordan and Lebanon, and others, to be able to live with whatever agreement the Syrian parties come to in Geneva. Otherwise we will start again and again and again.

This is exactly the exercise we are engaged in, accompanying the work of the United Nations – and, believe me, if we use our leverage and we use our power and we put our leverage and our power at the service of the UN mediation, this is not giving up our role. This is serving our interests to the best; this is playing our role to the best because, for the European Union, the multilateral UN way is the way to resolve conflicts.

I have always thought that we were all on the same page on this, and that particularly at this moment it is essential for the European Union to help, support and feed into the UN multilateral efforts to achieve peace. Any agreement found will not be sustained or sustainable if it is not embedded in a multilateral, global UN framework. This is the work we are doing.

To turn to Russia: first of all, some of you asked for my comments on the Astana process. I believe it is useful. I believe the agreement that was reached recently on de-escalation zones is good, but we have seen agreements of this kind before and we know very well that the point is the implementation. The point is the real de-escalation of violence on the ground. The point is real humanitarian access in all parts of Syria. That is the key.

And that is why we are insisting on the need for the guarantors of the Astana process to guarantee the implementation of the agreement. They have a mechanism and they have a timetable that is also closely connected with the timetable of the talks in Geneva. We encourage the three guarantors of the Astana process to work to implement the agreement and also to create the strongest possible link between the military de-escalation efforts agreed in Astana and the political intra-Syrian talks led by the UN in Geneva. It is very clear to us, and I believe also to the UN Security Council Members – all of them – that the political, intra-Syrian negotiations should take place in Geneva under the UN leadership.

Some of you also asked me about the position of Russia, and the position of the US. Let me tell you very clearly. I met Foreign Minister Lavrov, as some of you mentioned, a few weeks ago in Moscow, and this work on Syria was the main point. We also discussed the situation in Ukraine as you can imagine. With Rex Tillerson the constant cooperation and coordination we have is producing similar approaches that you see in messaging and action. He called me on the day of Lavrov’s visit to Washington precisely to debrief me about the visit. I can tell you, sometimes we pay less attention than they do to what we are doing, and I find that quite a paradox.

Last week I was in the UN Security Council, and the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, referred to the European Union’s key role in the Syria crisis, mentioning especially the means of leverage we have in terms of reconstruction and reconciliation. When Rex Tillerson was in Moscow, look at the press conference Lavrov held with him: Lavrov mentioned the Brussels conference and the role of the European Union in this. Sometimes I have the feeling that we give the work we are doing less recognition than it gets from some of our interlocutors on the global scene. We should be more self-confident about what we are doing, and recognise it a little bit more. Our role is not only humanitarian, but it is based on this good humanitarian work we are doing.

I shall finish by saying I believe that the region is, and will continue to be, the key. I will be in the region again at the end of this week, in Jordan for a regional forum. I see a lot of potential there to try and accompany the various Syrian parties in what are, in some cases, local processes that can open small bridges or small spaces for attempts at reconciliation. In Europe we know very well that no end of war comes easily. We have lived through wars on our territory that required not only a lot of mediation, a lot of reconciliation, a lot of transitional justice and a lot of accountability, but also a lot of reconstruction – physical reconstruction and also the reconstruction of the social fabric of trust among communities.

This will be one of the most challenging efforts we will have to make, to support the possibility of different kinds of Syrians feeling at home in the Syria of the future and trusting their neighbours, whoever they are.

We will move now to another debate that certainly touches on some of these issues, but I think that the European Union will also have to play the card, when the time comes, of reconstructing – or accompanying the Syrians as they try to reconstruct – the social fabric, and as they manage, we hope, to give rebirth to their country in a united manner.




  President. – I have received seven motions for resolutions tabled in accordance with Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Thursday, 18 May 2017.

(The sitting was suspended for a few moments)



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