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EU FMs: No Future for Assad in Post-Conflict Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. (Reuters)

Brussels – European Union foreign ministers adopted Monday a common strategy on Syria, on the eve of the Brussels Conference “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”.

Addressing reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Luxembourg, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini detailed the plan for the new strategy on Syria, which she said required the international community to unite and to facilitate a political solution to the conflict.

“For the European Union, it is essential, first of all, to find a framework to ensure a genuine political transition, supporting the work of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura,” Mogherini stated.

The High Representative also stressed the need for a serious and inclusive transition in Syria, based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Declaration on Syria.

She also called on the international community to follow the EU’s lead on humanitarian aid and to adopt measures aimed at strengthening Syrian civil society.

The Common Strategy, as presented by Mogherini, underlines the need to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and to set the bases for reconstruction, reconciliation and the stabilization of the country once a political agreement is found to pave the way to the transition.

On the other hand, the EU official said she believed it “would be impossible” to return to the status quo in Syria after peace is restored in the country.

She noted that while international efforts continued to search for a peace settlement, the Syrian people should ultimately agree on any political outcome.

“This is for the Syrians to decide, that is clear,” she said, adding: “Any solution that can be acceptable by all Syrians, we will support it.”

European Union foreign ministers said they see no future for Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad in post-conflict Syria.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the changed US position might be “more realistic.”

While Gabriel said not insisting Assad step down from the start would limit the risk of deadlock, he also warned that the regime leader must be held accountable for his crimes.

“But there is one thing which cannot happen – that a dictator who committed horrible crimes in the region remains untouched,” he stated.

On Tuesday in Brussels, Mogherini and the UN will co-host a two-day conference on Syria’s future. The meeting will focus on the country’s devastating humanitarian situation after nearly seven years of war that has claimed more than 320,000 lives and displaced more than half the population.