Opposition Calls for Greater EU Role in Syria to Curb Regime Violence

Europe has failed to take action to end the crimes of the Assad regime, Russia and Iran in Syria, coalition president tells EU's top diplomat

President of the Syrian National Coalition Riad Seif has called on Europeans to assume a bigger role in protecting civilians in Syria and the Middle East.

At a meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Friday, Seif said the EU has not taken decisive action to protect victims against the crimes of the Assad regime despite its vocal opposition to the regime’s atrocities.

“We feel ashamed when we see statements condemning the Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity while there is no concrete action is taken to stop these crimes," he said.

While Iran occupies Syria, Russia continues to act freely in the country, Seif said, adding: “Our friends have not yet taken action to stop the aggression on Syria nor have they showed the required attention towards this aggression.”

For her part, Mogherini described the meeting as important for her and her team, reaffirming full political support for the Syrian opposition and its participation in the Geneva process. She also pledged to support projects by the interim government in liberated areas.

The EU is looking for ways step up efforts on the economic level to manage the post-conflict phase, she said, adding that the union sees the coalition and its institutions as key partners in Syria’s reconstruction.

Mogherini expressed concerns about division of Syria, stressing that the political process in Geneva is the "basis" for any solution. She also pointed out that the Astana agreements may be useful in helping to reduce violence on the ground.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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