The United States, Britain, France, and Germany have affirmed that no military solution is available for the Syrian crisis.
“We will not consider providing or supporting any reconstruction assistance until a credible, substantive, and genuine political process is irreversibly underway,” they said in a joint statement marking the ninth anniversary of the Syrian uprising.
“Nine years ago today, tens of thousands of Syrians peacefully took to the streets calling for respect for human rights and the end of government corruption,” the statement said.
“Instead of heeding the Syrian people’s legitimate demands, the Assad regime responded with a ruthless campaign of arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and violence.
“As the Syrian conflict enters its 10th year, the Assad regime’s brutal pursuit of a military victory has displaced over 11 million people – nearly half of Syria’s pre-war population – and killed more than 500,000 Syrians.”
The four Western countries noted that the Assad regime must accept the will of the Syrian people who demand and deserve to live in peace and free of shelling, chemical weapons attacks, barrel bombs, airstrikes, arbitrary detention, torture, and starvation.
“We will continue to demand accountability for the atrocities committed by the Assad regime and we will continue our efforts to make sure that those who are responsible for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other violations and abuses are identified and held accountable.”
The statement stressed the necessity for the international community to come together to support the collection and release of documentation of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including the critical work of the UN Commission of Inquiry; the UN International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism for Syria; and the UN Secretary General’s Board of Inquiry.
“The military solution the Syrian regime hopes to achieve, with backing from Russia and Iran, will not bring peace.”
The four countries reiterated in their statement their strong support for the UN-led process in Geneva and UNSCR 2254 to bring about a peaceful and stable Syria.
“We – France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States – demand that the Assad regime stop the ruthless killing and engage meaningfully in all aspects of UNSCR 2254, including a nationwide ceasefire, a reformed constitution, release of arbitrarily detained persons, as well as free and fair elections,” it concluded.
“A credible political process cannot be limited to attempts at convening a constitutional committee.”
All Syrian citizens, including citizens who are displaced persons and refugees, should be allowed to participate in free and fair elections, under UN supervision, it stressed.
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