Didier Reynders and Alexander De Croo shocked by situation in Aleppo

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo are shocked by the recent cruel attacks in Aleppo and its surroundings. Each days, tens of people, among whom many civilians, die as a consequence of this new offensive. These blind actions, supported by the Russian air force, have dramatic consequences for the people of Aleppo. Already for more than 20 days, at least a quarter million people are cut off from food, running water and other necessary supplies.
Like the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and other EU colleagues, Didier Reynders and Alexander De Croo insist that humanitarian aid must reach the population without conditions or obstruction. Belgium supports the proposed monitoring of violations of possible ceasefires and of violations of international humanitarian law. Those responsible must be held accountable by their own population, the humanitarian community and the whole world. The attack on a humanitarian convoy last week was a sad example of such a violation. Also the UN Security Council must take its responsibility for those incidents not to happen again.
The events in Aleppo again demonstrate that the Syrian people is in urgent need of a political solution to the conflict. Belgium supports the efforts of UN special envoy Staffan De Mistura. We therefore call on all those countries with influence on the regime, and particularly Russia, as well as those with contacts among the armed opposition, to apply the maximum pressure to cease the attacks, allow unhindered and continuous humanitarian access to those in need, and resume political negotiations under the auspices of the UN in Geneva as swiftly as possible.