Tusk on Syria: EU will consider all available options if atrocities continue
October 21, 2016
The EU leaders met on Thursday 20 October in Brussels. They discussed migration and Russia, including its role in Syria and adopted conclusions on both issues. The European Council called for urgent and unhindered humanitarian access to Aleppo and other parts of the country and for an immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of a political process under the auspices of the UN.
“Leaders strongly condemned the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo,” said President Tusk at the press conference following the meeting. “The EU is calling for an end to the atrocities and an immediate cessation of hostilities. It will consider all available options, if these atrocities continue,” he added.
The EU will also work on reaching out to the key actors in the region on a political transition and on preparations for post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.
On migration, EU leaders said that illegal migration along the Central Mediterranean route needed to be further reduced and return rates improved. In this context, they highlighted the importance of cooperation with African countries of origin and transit for migrants and said the necessary leverage could be applied by means of relevant EU policies and tools, including development and trade.
They also reiterated the importance of tackling the root causes of migration and called on all global players to shoulder their responsibilities.
On the Eastern Mediterranean route, leaders asked EU countries to boost the relocation of migrants, especially for unaccompanied minors. They also called for further work on the reform of EU asylum rules, including the application of the principles of responsibility and solidarity. (EU Neighbourhood Info)