Syrian crisis needs a swift ceasefire agreement and a political solution, not a military one



A Syrian boy herds goats on a street in the town of Zamalka in Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, Syria, on April 4, 2018. PHOTO: BELGA

The Party of European Socialists calls for a peaceful solution and diplomatic talks in the light of the frightening escalation of the crisis in Syria.

The United States, France and Great Britain carried out a missile attack on military targets near Damascus on Friday night as a response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

"Syria and its people have suffered greatly in this constantly evolving conflict. The use of chemical weapons is an awful war crime and it's the second time such a crime was committed in Syria. Crimes against humanity and against the people of Syria should not be left without consequences.

"I am worried that the crisis may fall in to the deadly spiral of crimes committed by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and punishments by the United States and its allies. 

"What the region and the world need is a swift ceasefire agreement and diplomatic negotiations with all parties involved, leading to a long-lasting political solution."

PES supports the Geneva Process and the UN led peace-talks.

European socialists and democrats welcome the efforts of the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini. We trust that the upcoming Second Brussels Conference on Syria, led by Ms Mogherini and the UN secretary general António Guterres, will bring positive results and can help all parties involved to move towards a peaceful solution, stopping the bloodshed which has continued for more than seven years now.