Top EU officials warned on Thursday against a military strike in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government inAugust.
As world leaders gathered for the 2-day G20 Summit in St.Petersburg, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, backed by Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, said that military action would not help resolve the crisis. ‘Only a political solution’ could end the bloodshed.
‘The European Union believes that efforts should be developed towards a political solution for the conflict and the European Union is indeed providing relief’, said European Commission’s president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Van Rompuy also urged the international community and European countries to work with the United Nations in agreeing what actions should be taken against the Syrian regime.
US president Barack Obama has said the US is ready to kick off military intervention in Syria, with the support of France.
‘We have to wait, the American Congress has still to decide but we emphasize collectively the importance of the UN process and that is why we are asking urgently that the UN inspectors deliver an interim report as soon as possible. This clarification can be very helpful for the upcoming days and weeks’, said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
The size of the Syrian refugee crisis continues to grow as the UN says it needs over 3 billion euros more to deal with the number of displaced people, which has now reached two million, half of them children.
Meanwhile, Syria will also feature high on the agenda of the upcoming EU foreign ministers meeting in Vilnius on Friday and Saturday. US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to join the meeting and push for tougher action against al-Assad.