Violence in Syria must end urgently, says PES


Turkish army in Afrin

A Free Syrian Army tank in Afrin city, Syria, this weekend. (XINHUA/Belga)

The Party of European Socialists express its deep dismay at the ongoing violence in northern Syria, including in the city of Afrin, which was reportedly occupied by Turkish troops at the weekend.

In an official statement adopted on Friday, the PES Presidency said:

"This week marks the tragic anniversary of the Syrian war. It has been seven years and the war is still not over. We understand the concerns of Turkey for the security of its borders and the need to provide security to its citizens living near the border of Syria but the attacks against the multi-ethnic, autonomous, democratic self-government and its civilian population in northern Syria region is against all international and humanitarian law and is totally unacceptable.

"The PES calls Ankara to stop its offensive and withdraw from Afrin and its region. Turkey has, as one of the guarantors of the Astana process, a constructive role to play to achieve political negotiation leading to peace in the region but not with arms.

"The PES deeply regrets the current failure of the peace process and urges all the involved parties to find a way to cooperate in order to achieve a peaceful, sustainable solution to the conflict and save lives."