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Foreign Ministers Council on Syria – A missed opportunity

Yesterday the EU foreign ministers met to discuss the situation in Syria after the Turkish invasion. Of course, the EU cannot solve the conflict on the ground, but it could have done a number of things to clearly condemn the Turks' behaviour: 

  • An arms embargo, so that no more EU weapons and military aid go to Turkey and no more European weapons are used in this war.
  • A clear condemnation of the invasion as a breach of international law.
  • Targeted sanctions for individuals responsible for this invasion. In other words, entry restrictions on the EU and freezing of their accounts and assets in the EU.
  • Documentation of the atrocities, so that nobody gets away unpunished after the end of the fighting.

None of this has happened. Yesterday the member states once again gave away the room for manoeuvre they would have had if they had agreed on a clear and common position. And all at the expense of the people in northern Syria. The first reports of atrocities arrived over the weekend. The execution of Hervin Khalaf. She was a democrat, a fighter for interfaith reconciliation, a feminist. She was tortured and murdered. She was tortured and murdered on camera. And we can't even agree on a clear conviction.

Here’s my short comment on this at Radio Eins.

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