AP Savunma Komitesi üyelerinden Türkiye’ye Suriye ziyareti (english)
Defence MEPs visit Turkey to advocate strategic patience with Syria
An EP Security and Defence Subcommittee delegation, led by Tonino Picula (S&D, HR), visited Turkey on 17-19 December 2018.
While recognising that Turkey is an important security actor in northern Syria, the EP delegation expressed their concerns about the announced imminent unilateral military action by Turkey in northeast Syria.
“Should this offensive eventually be launched, we expect the Turkish troops to do their utmost to protect civilians, to guarantee the freedom of movement for the local population and also full access to the area for humanitarian aid organisations”, said Mr Picula.
“However, at the end there can be no military solution to this horrible crisis, only a political one.”
The delegation also warned against giving way to donors’ fatigue and advocated for the EU to remain committed in Syria and to increase its support for the Syrian interim government and the northern Syrian communities.
“The cost to pay for an insufficient humanitarian engagement would be huge as people in the northwest are entirely dependent on aid from the international community. The EU’s presence is therefore a must to ensure that basic services continue to be provided to the population”, said Mr Picula.
“At the same time, reconstruction only makes sense if it is linked to an irreversible political process, otherwise it would just reinforce the Assad regime and its militias”.
The SEDE delegation was composed of Tonino Picula (S&D, HR) and Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA, SE).
During their visit to Gaziantep and Ankara, MEPs held meetings with Turkish authorities, the head of the EU delegation in the country, representatives of the Syrian opposition as well as representatives of the international community and of Syrian civil society. They discussed various aspects of the security situation in northern Syria and in Turkey, the EU’s financial assistance to Turkey for helping refugees and EU-NATO cooperation.
Almost 12 million Syrians have fled their country or been internally displaced.