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Friends of Syria meeting in London – Italy calls for humanitarian corridors

From the call launched by the EU at the Foreign Affairs Council on 21 October in Luxembourg to the “Friends of Syria” summit in London. The central topic is the outlook for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, including through the “Geneva 2” conference.

At their Council meeting on 21 October, the European Union’s foreign ministers urged all sides of the conflict to respond positively to the call for the conference in Geneva and to adhere publicly to a credible political transition based on the principles set forth at the first Geneva Conference. The objective of the Geneva 2 Conference must be the establishment of a transitional governing body (TGB) with full executive powers and control of all governmental and all security institutions.

For this reason, the EU called on the opposition to participate actively at the conference and encouraged the Syrian National Coalition to take a leading role during negotiations. Ahmad Jarba, president of the Coalition, reiterated that he will not attend the Geneva peace conference unless the goal of the talks is for the Syrian president, Bashar al Assad, to leave power.

Geneva conference: the goal must be democracy and pluralism, say “Friends of Syria”

A clear message emerging from the Friends of Syria meeting was the need for a pluralistic and democratic solution for the country’s future. The final Communiqué calls for the conference to take place before the end of November and sets out the aims it must achieve. “The future Syria”, states the Communiqué, “must be democratic, pluralistic, and respectful of human rights and of the rule of law. Every citizen must enjoy full equality before the law regardless of his religious or ethnic background”.