EU Council adopts Syria strategy but Geneva talks go nowhere

The Council of the European Union has adopted the EU strategy on Syria, explained in a statement on Monday.

The Council recognised the need for humanitarian assistance for 15.5 million Syrians of which 6.3 are internally displaced, 1.5 million live under conditions of siege, and 5 million are refugees in other countries.

“The EU firmly believes that there can be no military solution to the conflict and is committed to the unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Syrian State,” the statement read.

The Council stated that the there can be no military solution to the conflict and that a lasting peace in Syria could not be maintained under the current regime.

The EU will try to negotiate a political transition with the support of key international and regional actors and continue to support the Syrian opposition, in particular the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Syria’s main opposition group, created and located in Saudi Arabia that also backs the committee.

The Council reaffirmed the primacy of the UN-led Geneva process. The fifth round of the Syria peace talks in Geneva ended on Friday but little progress was made as both Syrian government representatives as well as those of the opposition accused each other of terrorism and of sabotaging the talks.

The Kurdish National Council (KNC), accused the HNC of not including the Kurdish issue in discussions and recently withdrew from negotiations in Geneva.

The HNC has refused to accept the participation of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in talks.