19 February 2018

Panel on Syrian crisis in Global Forum

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A panel titled “Global responsibility for Syria: towards action plan” was held as part of the 4th Global Baku Forum on March 10.

Swedish Ambassador to Syria Peter Semneby, who moderated the panel, said that what is happening in Syria is “the world’s most brutal war” and “a human crisis” that should be prevented.

Addressing the panel, former Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that the influx of refugees into Europe in light of the Syrian war was unexpected for them.

The influx of refugees into Europe heralds a future crisis, according to Frattini. “In general, to cope with this crisis we at the outset did not have to take wrong steps. The biggest mistake was that from the very beginning we did not have to demand the resignation of Bashar al-Assad,” he added.

Former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić, in his speech during the panel, said that the Syrian war poses a serious problem for the entire world – refugees are one of the consequences of this problem.

Making a speech at the panel, former President of Lebanon Amine Gemayel said that the Syrian crisis is in fact a many-sided conflict.

“The people were tired of the dictatorship in Syria which lasted more than 40 years. The consequences of the current crisis were dramatic from the economic and social point of view. The people were forced to leave the country for Europe and Turkey,” Amine Gemayel said.

“I would like to talk about two sides of the conflict – Iran and its ally “Hezbollah”, and Saudi Arabia and its allies,” the former president said. “Another important issue is the problem of Iran-backed neo-Shiites which leads to the formation of Sunni nationalism and activates the fanatics,” he added.

Former Turkish Foreign Minister, former speaker of the Turkish Parliament Hikmet Cetin, who joined the panel, said that now the world is unable to resolve any conflict, referring to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The unresolved Syrian crisis can lead to three global processes – global terrorism, the refugee problem and a Sunni-Shiite conflict, according to Cetin. “We don’t want a Sunni-Shiite conflict. The world must contribute to the peace process,” he added.

Cetin said there are about 3 million refugees in Turkey. “According to official data, 271,000 people have been killed to date, 13,500 of them are children,” he noted.

The former Turkish FM said the situation in Syria has not been estimated properly. “Bashar al-Assad has a strong army. In addition, the support of Russia and Iran to him was not taken into account. Democracy can’t be imposed from outside in any country. This happened in Iraq and we have witnessed the splitting of Iraq into two parts,” Cetin stressed.

He urged the world community to strengthen the fight against Assad, noting that the problem will be solved after his overthrow.

2016.03.10 / 17:22
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