“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.
Despite catastrophic war and its enormous consequences, Syrians still believe in revolution and call for freedom as uprising completes 10 years. TRT World's Sara Firth has more from northern Syria pic.twitter.com/3vNa7PNKFx— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 16, 2021
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.”
"Realpolitik, rather than principle, will ultimately determine Assad’s Arab League fate" https://t.co/GeBEoASJu2— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) March 16, 2021
“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.”
Copyright: Arab News © 2021 All rights reserved.