Syria conflict raises intervention questionView(s):
PAPHOS, Cyprus, Sept 8 (AFP) -The spiralling conflict in Syria is raising questions about the “duty of intervention”, Belgian’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said during talks with European Union counterparts on Saturday.
“We’re at a point where we increasingly have the feeling we’re slipping little by little into a lengthy civil war,” Reynders told AFP on the sidelines of a two-day meeting with his 26 counterparts.
“The question raised is whether we allow this civil war, which will become increasingly violent, to continue… or do we decide the duty to intervene take precedence at some point.”Meeting on an island as close as 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Syria for their first talks since the summer break, the ministers the previous day called for a massive boost in aid to Syrian civilians amid fears the humanitarian crisis could impact Europe’s security.
“Do we remain within the framework of the (UN) Security Council and the veto, and for how long?” Reynders added, referring to three Security Council attempts to exert more pressure on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, vetoed by China and Russia.
Reynders also suggested setting up an international observer mission to ensure Syrian hospitals were kept open to the injured from both sides of the conflict.
On the first day of the ministers’ talks, an informal meeting held in a luxury Cypriot resort, Brussels announced an extra 50 million euros ($63 million) for civilians trapped in the conflict.
“Humanitarian needs are rising rapidly,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. “We need additional contributions to the human effort urgently. I want to put the proposal to my colleagues that other EU nations need to do more.”The latest aid, likely to be distributed through NGOs, brings the EU contribution in all to 200 million euros, half of all international help.
The United Nations on Friday almost doubled its humanitarian appeal for Syria to $347 million, estimating that more than 2.5 million people need food and medical help in the country.
More than 1.2 million, more than half of them children, have become internally displaced in Syria, and some 200,000 refugees are massed in neighbours Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
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