Minister Reynders worried about the humanitarian situation in Syria

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is worried about the escalation of violence in Syria and about the humanitarian situation in the country. The situation has become particularly severe in recent weeks in Eastern Ghouta, in Idlib province and around Afrin, among others.

Tens of civilians, including women and children, were killed over the last days in the Eastern Ghouta after heavy bombings by the Syrian regime. Reports from various sources indicate attacks against medical facilities in the Idleb province. This amounts to a grave violation of humanitarian law.

Didier Reynders supports the call from the European Union to all parties involved in the conflict to take the necessary measures to reduce violence and make sure that the Syrian population is protected. Urgent humanitarian access to all Syrians, certainly those in besieged areas, is furthermore necessary. Belgium supports also the efforts in the United Nations Security Council to make a humanitarian truce possible in Syria in order to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian help. In this context, the Minister chaired today in New York a seminar on building bridges between the humanitarian community and political mediation in conflicts such as that in Syria.

This escalade shows once again that pressure on the warring parties and on their supporters must be increased so that serious and credible political negotiations can resume under the guidance of the United Nations in Geneva.