In response to the strong EU Syria conclusions released by the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) yesterday, Syrian civil society activists are advocating for greater EU leadership to achieve a political solution and accountability for war crimes.
“We welcome the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s calls for civilian protection, accountability, and political transition. We hope these new conclusions will provide the stepping stone for greater EU leadership to bring an end to this horrific conflict”, said Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairperson of the Syrian Network for Human Rights. “In particular, we are grateful for the EU’s continued commitment to achieving accountability and justice. Following the decision by France, the United Kingdom and the United States to strike the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons arsenal, we urge the EU to take steps that would hold the perpetrators of chemical attacks and wider war crimes of the Assad regime accountable. This should include the credible step of working with Member States in the UN General Assembly to establish a Special Tribunal for Syria.”
“Syrians are grateful that the EU will not allow reconstruction aid to pad the wallets of war criminals or to strengthen a party to the conflict over the other, and will instead make EU assistance contingent on political transition”, said Yousef Wehbe of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. “By increasing its support to independent Syrian civil society organizations on the ground, particularly in opposition-held areas, the EU will ensure that aid reaches those who need it most, while also ensuring that their contributions do not in any way lend legitimacy to a dictatorship that gasses, bombs and starves its own people.”