EU foreign ministers discuss Syrian crisis, issue recommendations

The EU's Foreign Affairs Council met Monday to discuss the crisis in Syria, and released a statement of its conclusions, which includes support for the UN-mediated peace talks, condemnation of the Syria's regime's attempts to circumvent EU sanctions, and recommendations to the UN for seeking a government response to the hurdles faced by humanitarian workers.
By JC Finley  |  April 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM
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LUXEMBOURG , April 15 (UPI) -- The European Union's Foreign Affairs Council convened Monday in Luxembourg to discuss a range of issues, including the ongoing Syrian crisis.

In response to the three years of deadly conflict in Syria, the Council stated "there can only be a political solution." The responsibility for permitting the United Nations-mediated peace talks to move forward rests, the EU said, with the Syrian regime.

"The EU urges those with influence on the Syrian regime to put pressure on it to engage much more constructively in the talks."

The Syrian government has attempted to obstruct the progress of the peace talks.

Additionally, the EU noted the Syrian government has attempted to circumvent EU sanctions. If that continues, the EU warned that it would "act swiftly against persons and entities which are facilitating the circumvention of EU sanctions and will take appropriate steps to keep existing sanctions effective."

In response to regime blockages of humanitarian aid to Syrians in need, the UN adopted Resolution 2139, demanding that all parties cease all hostilities and allow freedom of movement to enable both humanitarian and medical assistance. The UN continues to document violations by the Syrian regime.

On Monday, the EU urged the UN to include "robust and specific demands for access" when documenting such hurdles and encouraged the UN Security Council to "take further measures if non-compliance continues."

The EU foreign ministers concluded with a statement that the Syrian government must expedite its removal of its chemical weapons, as stipulated by UNSC Resolution 2118 and in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

[European Union]

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