Zovko: Food for thought for those working on a solution for reconciliation in the country. Never leave the smaller ones out of the equation.
Brussels, 9 March 2021,
The Syrian uprising started 10 years ago and evolved into a war that is still ongoing. Throughout the years the situation has deteriorated and millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance. In commemoration of this anniversary, the Members of the European Parliament held a debate with High Representative Borrell in the plenary session.
Vice-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Željana Zovko stated that the region became the arena of proxy wars and instability. “12 million Syrians have fled their homes; 5 million became refugee; half a million have lost their life. These numbers resonate in our head as a warning that human misery is calling for a solution to this never-ending conflict.” She stated.
Zovko welcomes the fifth Brussels Conference that will take place on 29 and 30 March and offers an opportunity to reassert the international community’s continued support to the UN and the UN Special Envoy’s efforts for a negotiated political solution to the Syrian conflict. With this conference, the EU also aims to mobilise necessary financial support to contribute to rebuild the country and help its people.
In her intervention, Ms Zovko also stated that “in light of the recent Pope’s visit to Irak, we have learned the sad fact that disproportionately high number of Christians have abandoned these areas, maybe forever”. She said that religious extremism is pressuring minorities once again to look for refuge. According to Zovko, we must acknowledge the lack of a strong tool in the European Union’s foreign policy that interreligious dialogue can play in creating reconciliation among the population.
“I welcome the Pope’s message of brotherhood among religions and the need to offer shelter to the weaker community. But do we have to wait for the mercy of the ones who feel stronger on the ground? When will we finally condition our aid with respect for freedom of belief as well as other human rights? Food for thought for those working on a solution for reconciliation in the country. Never leave the smaller ones out of the equation” Zovko concluded.