A humanitarian border corridor should be set up between Syria and Turkey for refugees, and the UN Security Council should condemn Syria’s “increasingly brutal” regime, said the European Union Parliament on Thursday. MEPs also urged EU Member States to release some of Libya’s frozen assets to Libyan opposition leaders for emergency aid.
Parliament’s political groups reviewed the latest developments in the Arab world, with special emphasis on the conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain, in a joint “Arab spring” resolution adopted on Thursday. In a debate with EU foreign policy High Representative Catherine Ashton on Wednesday, all the groups unanimously condemned acts of violence by the Syrian regime.
The ALDE and Greens/EFA groups also criticised Brazil, Russia and China for blocking a UN resolution condemning Syria. The GUE/NGL group announced that it would not vote for the resolution, since it believes that the UN mandate to protect Libyans has been exceeded with an excessive military intervention.
Syria: need for a humanitarian corridor
Besides calling on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Syria, MEPs urged the other EU institutions to press the UN to help the Turkish and Lebanese authorities to set up a humanitarian corridor at their borders with this country. The Red Crescent estimates that 12,000 Syrians have crossed the Syrian-Turkish border and 17,000 more are waiting to cross.
MEPs also urge Syria to investigate reported cases of arrest and torture of children and to allow the international press into the country to investigate all claims that armed gangs of extremists are firing at the security forces first, “which is the regime’s justification for the unacceptable bloodbath that is taking place”.
Libya: use frozen assets for emergency aid
To remedy the shortages of food, medical aid and cash faced by the Libyan population, Parliament urges EU Member States to make part of the frozen Libyan assets available to the opposition forces led by the Transitional National Council.
MEPs reiterate “the commitment of the international community to protect civilians through the intensification of pressure on the Libyan regime” and call on the Council to take into account the warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for the arrest of Colonel Gaddafi.