In Munich for Syria: from words to action

In Munich for Syria: from words to action

After six hours of difficult discussion – and many bilateral preparatory meetings – tonight we took a decisive step forward, a concrete one, for Syria. The International Syria Support Group that gathered in Munich, with the participation of our European Union, has reached a deal on urgent aid to the people the most in need inside Syria, and for a cessation of hostilities among the Syrian factions to be implemented in one week time.

On the one hand, humanitarian aid should be delivered immediately, starting from those cities that are under under siege; an operative task force will be working on it as of today in Geneva, and the European Union – the main donor – will play a crucial role in it. On the other hand, we committed to pushing for a cessation of hostilities among the parties involved in the civil war, while keeping up the fight against Daesh, al Nusra and the other terrorist organisations defined by the UN.

This is not an agreement on words, on principles, on political perspectives – we have already agreed on all this, after tough discussions, over the past few months. This is an agreement on what actions to take together, through coordination on the humanitarian, political and military level. This is to try and improve the conditions on the ground, the livelihoods of the Syrian people, and facilitate a credible resumption of negotiations between the regime and the oppositions in Geneva, in the coming days.

The agreements we reached tonight will need to translate into concrete action in the days ahead, starting from today. The European Union’s delegation is already travelling to Geneva, to contribute to the humanitarian side of our work.

Here is the video of my doorstep in Munich, and my comments after the end of the meeting

Here the final statement of the ISSG meeting