10 Years on Syria: EU Blame Assad For 'Appalling Violence'

Published March 16th, 2021 - 12:22 GMT
A Syrian woman holds up a banner that reads, 'We will not return as long as (Syrian President) Assad is present'
A Syrian woman holds up a banner that reads, 'We will not return as long as (Syrian President) Assad is present', during a rally marking the 10th anniversary of the start of the war in Syria, in Istanbul on March 13, 2021. More than 3.6 million Syrians refugees live in Turkey as a result of the decade-long conflict in their home country. The UN rights chief on March 11, 2021 urged Syria's warring parties to disclose the location of tens of thousands of missing people, as she marked 10 grim years since the start of the war. Yasin AKGUL / AFP
Highlights
They also called for a nationwide cease-fire, unhindered aid access to those in need, and the release of those arbitrarily detained.

Syrian President Bashar Assad and his backers bear responsibility for the years of war and human suffering that followed, the US and a number of European countries said on Monday.

“The Assad regime’s response has been one of appalling violence,” the foreign minsters of the US, UK, France, Germany, and Italy said in a joint statement issued on the 10-year anniversary of the Syrian uprising.

“We praise the brave individuals and organizations who over the last ten years have exposed the truth from Syria, documented and pursued abuses, mass atrocities, and grave violations of international law to hold the perpetrators accountable and delivered vital assistance to communities,” they said.

The foreign ministers also said that a decade of conflict, widespread corruption, and economic upheaval have left the Syrian economy “broken.”

More than half of the population, nearly 13 million Syrians, depend upon humanitarian assistance, the statement said.On the proposed presidential election this year, the foreign ministers said they would neither be free nor fair, and should not lead to any normalization of ties with the Syrian regime.

“Any political process needs the participation of all Syrians, including the diaspora and the displaced, to enable all voices to be heard,” they said, adding they must be under the auspices of the UN.

Millions of Syrians have fled the fighting over the last ten years, the majority of which are hosted by Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt, in addition to those who are internally displaced and are unable to return home.

“We will not abandon the Syrian people (and) our nations commit to reinvigorating the pursuit of a peaceful solution which protects the rights and future prosperity of all Syrians, based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” the statement said.

The foreign minsters added that they would not tolerate impunity or non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, firmly continue to press for accountability for crimes, and welcomed the “ongoing efforts by national courts to investigate and prosecute crimes within their jurisdiction committed in Syria.”

They also called for a nationwide cease-fire, unhindered aid access to those in need, and the release of those arbitrarily detained.

“We reiterate our firm support for UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen’s efforts as the only way to resolve this conflict, the statement said, adding: “We cannot allow this tragedy to last another decade.”

“Continued conflict has also led to space for terrorists, particularly Daesh, to exploit,” they said, adding that preventing Daesh’s resurgence remains a priority.
The US and Europe said the Syrian regime and its supporters must “engage seriously in the political process and allow humanitarian assistance to reach communities in need.”

This article has been adapted from its original source.     


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