RESOLUTION N° 1, ON SYRIA
The Party of the Citizens of Europe (PACE), aisbl1,
- Considering that the use of chemical weapons in Syria, probably by Government forces, constitutes a crime against humanity that will have to be judged, as soon as the conditions will allow it, by a competent court, a priori the International Criminal Court;
- Considering that, in the meantime, the European Armed Forces are not meant toimplement punitive actions but should be utilised, as a last resort, in the service ofmajor European political objectives, in coordination with our main allies;
- Considering that previous military operations in Iraq and Libya, although they made it possible to topple dictators, have weakened the unity of these countries and led to political situations which, to date, are unstable and not satisfactory as regards the maintenance of civil peace and the respect of democratic principles;
- Considering that a military operation: a) would have the paradoxical effect of uniting a large proportion of the Syrian population around President Bashar al-Assad’s regime; b) would make even more difficult the situation of Middle-Eastern Christians who could easily find themselves being perceived once more as allies of the “crusaders”; c) would result in increased tension between Western countries and the Arab world; d) and finally and most importantly, would contribute to the fragmentation of Syria and therefore to the already high instability of the region;
- Considering that the establishment of a democracy and the Rule of Law cannot stem from a foreign military intervention; such an evolution can only derive from an internal political process, once some societal conditions are met;
- Considering that it is therefore up to the European Union to find non-military ways and means to facilitate the rise of democratic aspirations and capabilities in Syria;
- Acknowledging the fact that the British Parliament voted against the intervention in Syria;
- Acknowledging the fact that a large majority of European Citizens seem to be hostile or reluctant to a military intervention in Syria without a previous ‘green light’ by the United Nations;
- Acknowledging the fact that two of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations, China and Russia, are hostile to a military intervention;
- Considering that Iran, a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, appears to haveshown, through its new president, Mr Hassan Rohani, and his Minister for ForeignAffairs, Mr Mohammad-Javad Zarif, the will to normalise its relations with the Westerncountries, including Israel by taking distance from negationist2 speeches as conveyedby former President Mahmoud Amadinejad;
1) Welcomes the initiative of Russia aiming to put Syria’s chemical weapons underUnited Nations control in view of their destruction, and acknowledges the fact that theUS and French military threat has probably contributed to the development of such apolitical option.
2) Laments the fact that the European Union has again, as was the case in Libya andMali, shown its incapability to react quickly and effectively to major crises, due toinadequate decision-making processes; seventeen days were indeed necessary to bring a first common response to this crisis (the Vilnius communiqué of 7 September 2013), thus demonstrating the difficulties of the European Union to act meaningfully in the field of Foreign and security Policy.
3) Requests from:
- The President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande :
- Not to engage in military action, in case of failure of the political option proposed by Russia, without the support of a clear majority within the United Nations Security Council and the European Council, and without hearing the European Parliament;
- In case of success of the diplomatic option, to dedicate asignificant part of the budget foreseen for the militaryoperation on the one hand to assistance to Syrianrefugees, in particular health and schooling programmesfor children, and on the other hand to training andcommunication of the Syrian political parties which beardemocratic values, in order to facilitate a democratictransition;
- The President of the European Council, Mr Herman van Rompuy, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Lady Catherine Ashton :
- To start normalising the relations with Iran – while remaining vigilant and demanding on the Iranian nuclear programme -, in view in particular to putting pressure on the Syrian regime of which Iran is a key ally;
- To keep looking for common grounds and working closely with Russia whose influence on Syria is also major;
- To increase help to Syrian refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria and within the European Union – by welcoming refugees -, as well as non-military support to Syrian democratic political parties.
- France and the United Kingdom, in close relation with Germany and the presidency of the European Union, to reflect on the evolution of the composition of the United Nations Security Council, so that it better represents in the future the balance of forces in the world while preserving the interests of the Europeans.
Issued in Brussels on 19th September, 2013