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15 March 2018 European Parliament resolution on the situation in Syria

The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution on 15 March calling on Turkey to withdraw all its troops from northern Syria. The resolution strongly condemned all atrocities, shelling of civilians and widespread violations of human rights and international law committed in Syria during the seven-year conflict.

In particular, it condemned  “the ongoing violence in Eastern Ghouta, despite the unanimous adoption of UNSC Resolution 2401, and urgently calls on all parties, and in particular on the Assad regime, Russia and Iran, to fully and urgently implement and respect that resolution, ensuring the immediate, safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance”.

The European Parliament also reminded  that “the regimes of Syria, Russia and Iran that they are responsible under international law for the heinous crimes they continue to commit in Syria, and that those perpetrating such crimes, be they states or individuals, will be held to account”. In line with this, The EP also advocated creating a Syrian war crimes tribunal, pending a successful referral to the International Criminal Court. The resolution urged that hope must not be lost and efforts to find a political solution through the UN-led Geneva process should be renewed.

The EP called on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to step up the EU’s role in peace talks, supporting the no-fly zones, actively back Syrian civil society and committing resources to Syria’s reconstruction. In this sense, it welcomed the EU-hosted second Brussels Conference on Syria to be held on 24-25 April.