The European Union supports efforts to prevent chemical attacks in Syria, but the only possible solution to the Syrian crisis is political, not military, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Sunday following the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia.
“The European Union is always opposed to the use of chemical weapons – we repeated it right after last week’s attack in the outskirts of Damascus – and we support the efforts to prevent new chemical attacks. At the same time, we know that the only possible solution to the Syrian tragedy is a political solution, not military, through the Geneva negotiations led by the United Nations. This is the position of the entire European Union”, Mogherini said.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini attends a press conference, as the shadow of Poland’s Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski is seen in the background, after a meeting with foreign ministers of Central and South-Eastern European countries, in Warsaw,
The EU top diplomat added that she had discussed Syrian and other regional crises with the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura and leaders of Arab states, including Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King of Jordan Abdullah II, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Emir of Kuwait Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Sisi and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, as well as with the secretary generals of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, and of the African Union, Moussa Faki.
Early on Saturday, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom launched strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical incident in the Damascus’ suburb of Duma. The West has accused forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad of an attack with the use of chemical weapons in Duma. The Syrian leadership has denied any involvement in the attack, and invited the experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate into the reports.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the three countries fired over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles, most of which were shot down by the Syrian air defense. According to Damascus, which has repeatedly said it had eliminated its chemical weapons stockpiles, the attack damaged Syrian infrastructure, and left three civilians injured.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that the strikes had been carried out in violation of norms and principles of the international law.