Syria: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the EP debate on 10 years of the conflict
March 10, 2021
Mr President, dear Members of the European Parliament,
The conflict in Syria has lasted now ten years. Ten years of tragedy for the people of Syria. Displacement, exile, poverty, destruction, torture, enforced disappearances, barrel bombs, chemical weapons. We thought that we would never need to see this again, at our doorstep.
Dear Members, all this is happening on our borders, in our immediate neighbourhood on the other side of the Mediterranean. We should not and we cannot, and we will not allow Syria to be forgotten.
On the 30th of March, I will co-chair with the United Nations a fifth Brussels conference on the Future of Syria and the region. We must give the United Nations and its Special Envoy Mr [Geir] Pedersen our full support and continue to push for a genuine political solution, according to the United Nations Security Council Resolution.
The political process has to move forward. With a new negotiated constitution, free and fair elections, release of political prisoners.
The EU is ready to provide its support and – once the time is right – to focus its reconstruction funds on the rebuilding of Syria and of the lives of its citizens.
Dear Members, we must keep providing assistance to the Syrian people in need. Both, in Syria and in the neighbouring countries, in particular in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, who host millions of refugees. These people deserve our continued support.
In ten years, as European Union and its Member States, we have provided €22 billion, it means in average €2.2 billion every year, in assistance for needs inside Syria, in support of refugees and in support of refugee-hosting countries. We are the biggest donor. And we will continue showing our solidarity. The support of this Parliament to these efforts has been, and remains, crucial. The needs are immense, and we will call on other donors to provide support too, because we cannot do everything.
I thank you for your interest and count on your full support.