EU: more work with Russia, Iran needed to end Syria war

Opposition official warns that any parties to Syrian solution must be impartial and not allied with Syrian regime.

EU: more work with Russia, Iran needed to end Syria war
World Bulletin/News Desk
The EU is seeking to improve cooperation with Russia and Iran to end the Syrian civil war, highlighting the shaping of a new regional framework by the 28-nation bloc.

But Russia and Iran are the strongest supporters of the Syrian regime. And Hadi al-Bahra, president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition forces, warned Tuesday that every party to the Syrian crisis must be independent and not allied with the regime.

''Anybody [who wants to] play a part as a mediator has to be really impartial to the situation and not allied or partner with the regime killing its own people,'' al-Bahra told The Anadolu Agency. 

A day earlier, the EU's foreign policy chief had said that the bloc would cast a wide net in looking for partners to help end the war.

 ''We will work with all the actors that have a say, that have a role, that can be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis, namely big Gulf countries, starting from Saudi Arabia but also Iran and Russia,'' Federica Mogherini said Monday in a statement.

''I think there could be a chance for Russia to play a positive role in the region and in global scene,'' Mogherini told reporters.

''Iran is an important regional player and this practically means that we will have to engage with Iran also on its neighborhood,'' Mogherini said.

Russia is one of the strongest supporters of the Syrian regime, and -- as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council -- Russia has repeatedly vetoed U.N. resolutions regarding Syria. And on Nov.26, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in the city of Sochi that Russia is seeking closer and tighter ties with Syria.

Even though the EU is shifting more towards the strongest backers of the Syrian regime in its effort to end the Syrian civil war, Mogherini stressed that the EU does not recognize Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as a partner in the process.

''Assad is not a partner but he is part of the Syrian reality today and this is something we have to realize,'' Mogherini said. ''We need to make sure that we face this reality." That, she said, is the only way to change that reality.

The European Union also announced its full support and commitment to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura's proposal to build on local "freeze zones" to end fighting in the devastated city of Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.

However, concerns have been raised over whether the Assad regime might take advantage of the halt in fighting to launch more attacks on civilians.

''The freeze agreement could be a positive move in the right direction if it was implemented as a part of a complete and comprehensive political solution,'' al-Bahra said. ''But having a freeze agreement without really knowing what’s coming next and what is the final result expected from this agreement will not be having any positive effect.''

The UN reported on Aug.22 that more than 191,000 people had been killed in the first three years of Syria's civil war.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Aralık 2014, 17:59