MEP Jordi Solé (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) has called for the EU to support the establishment of a Syrian war crimes tribunal to ensure crimes against humanity committed during the conflict do not go unpunished.
The MEP – a member of the EFA Group in the European Parliament – was speaking in a parliamentary debate in Strasbourg on Tuesday on options for ending the war in Syria, with the EU's Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini.
The conflict has seen over 11 million Syrians forced to flee their homes since 2011 and has cost some half a million lives. The EU remains a leading donor in the humanitarian response to the crisis.
Jordi Solé said that the EU, in its efforts to find a long lasting political solution, should never forget the actions of the Assad regime in igniting the conflict.
Speaking in the debate in Strasbourg, Jordi Solé MEP said:
"First, when trying to reach a long-lasting political solution to this bloody conflict, the EU should never forget that it all started when the Assad regime brutally oppressed peaceful demonstrations of ordinary people calling for democracy and freedom for their country.
"Then of course it all became more complex, with many factions from the inside and from the outside trying to take advantage of the chaos and the war, but in the beginning, what ignited this terrible conflict, was the criminal reaction of the Assad regime. Never forget that, and always stay by the side of those who want to honour the desire for freedom of those who were repressed back in 2011 and thereafter.
"Secondly, the EU should make sure that the many crimes against humanity committed by the Assad regime and its allies, and by other non-state armed groups, won’t go unpunished. The creation of a Syrian war crimes tribunal will be needed in order to achieve justice, and boost universal justice."