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Syria: all options are open (say the 27)

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, C. Ashton, and the President of the European Council, H. Van Rompuy (credit: Thierry Monasse)

(BRUSSELS2) The "27" European Heads of State and Government gathered for a summit today in Brussels made a point of saying that they remained " appalled " over there " deterioration of the situation in Syria. This will be treated as " a priority on their agenda. And they instructed their foreign ministers to "  to examine all options to support and assist the opposition and to provide greater support for the protection of civilians ».

Which options?

A rather vague formula which can range from greater humanitarian support, particularly in the refugee camps or even on the spot (by the arrival of planes or boats directly on the sites held by the opposition when this is possible), the lifting of the embargo on arms (this was only renewed for 3 months), through the provision of non-lethal means (means of transmission, satellite information, etc.) on site , from a crisis management center (as was done with the Arab League in Egypt) to more political options, such as the opening of a coalition "embassy" in Brussels, as proposed the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders (Belgium being the host State of the European institutions, this opening would allow the establishment of an official and direct link with the opposition). The option of a presence of a UN or other stabilization force after the conflict must also be studied now, consider some foreign ministers.

Need for political transition

Note that the "27" did not include all the results of the Marrakech meeting. They only did congratulate the results of the meeting » without adding a word about additional recognition of the current opposition as the only legitimate representative. But they reiterated their position that “ a political transition is needed in Syria in view of a future without President Assad and his illegitimate regime”.

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).