GUE/NGL MEPs launched an impassioned plea for the European Union to take concrete action as the humanitarian disaster in Syria lurches from one catastrophe to another.
Portuguese MEP and chair of the Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries Marisa Matias was first up and she launched a scathing attack on the chauvinistic tone of the debate, deploring the warmongering stance of rival MEPs:
“Aren’t we supposed to be discussing the situation in Syria here? Instead, we have a bunch of men who are just playing Risk, war games moving their soldiers around on the map!”
“We are not even discussing the situation Syria. This is the worst example of what the European Parliament is like: the exploitation of a conflict; capitalising on the victims for politicians’ war games…we don't need this! We need to be with the Syrian people,” implored Matias.
“Regarding the ‘moderate forces’, we should stop arming indiscriminately these so-called ‘moderates’ and stop creating terrorist groups. Don’t forget – before some of them became terrorists, they were one of our moderates!”
“Then again, since we are not treating these killings and humanitarian tragedy seriously, let’s keep up with the charade for now,” chided Matias.
Spanish MEP Javier Couso – Vice-Chair on the Committee on Foreign Affairs – said the situation in Yemen is just as appalling and that Europe’s concern for Syria is wholly disingenuous – borne strictly out of this fear of a terrorist blowback:
“We don't speak about the children and the victims in Yemen here or in the press – killed by white phosphorus and cluster bombs because – surprise, surprise – they were murdered by our Saudi friends!”
“Everyone here says they are concerned with Syria but some are concerned when they hear Al Nusra is doing well in Syria after we have financed and trained these terrorists that operate in both Syria and Europe,” said Couso.
“The last ceasefire collapsed because of the US bombings of Syrian positions and the attack on humanitarian corridors by terrorist organisations by using civilians as human shields.”
“We need to call on the US to restart negotiations with Russia. We need an immediate ceasefire by bringing all the non-terrorist actors around the table for dialogue,” concluded Couso.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs committee member and Spanish MEP Miguel Urbán blamed a lack of political will and ambition for the persistent failure in bringing the war to an end:
“Where is Europe in the negotiations between the US and Russia? Very simply – absent, just as Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs) is today. The failed brief truce is proof of a lack of political will and lack of ambition.”
“We have to stop these jihadist gangs and this false dilemma of choosing between imperial interference or supporting the rebel forces.”
“Finally, we cannot have this Fortress Europe and pay Turkey off to control our borders. We have to fulfil our duties to the refugees because right now, we are complicit in their deaths,” he added.