Syrian conflict is not on the agenda at this week’s European Council meeting
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that the European Union must recognise its role in establishing lasting peace in Syria.
The Deputy was commenting as it emerged that the ongoing Syrian conflict is not on the agenda for this week’s meeting of the European Council.
In the latest violent clashes, Russian and Syrian fighter jets have launched attacks in southern Aleppo and the Damascus countryside, causing civilian casualties while hundreds of families have been displaced from surrounding villages and towns.
Deputy O’Brien commented, “Seven years of conflict; a loss of life close to half a million people; 13 million Syrians are in extreme need of humanitarian aid while over 5 million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.
“The statistics are staggering and underscore the scale and brutality of this conflict, yet the European Council doesn’t wish to acknowledge the ongoing destruction during its meeting later this week.
“President Putin’s declaration of victory and a withdrawal of troops does not necessarily bring the Syrian war to an end, particularly a conflict as complex as this has been.
“The actions of Putin’s Russia, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State have major consequences on Europe too.
“The European Union must recognise its place in the Syrian peace process by persuading the Syrian delegation to begin direct discussions during the eighth round of UN peace talks in Geneva this week.
“In order for political settlement to be reached in Syria, the details of this conflict must remain at the forefront of the European Union’s agenda. There can be no reluctance to forge lasting peace.
He concluded, “I hope that both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste in his role as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to highlight the importance of finding resolution in Syria with EU counterparts."