Cyprus conveys willingness to support the people of Syria, during the 2nd Brussels conference

Cyprus condemns unreservedly, the use of chemical weapons in Syria, clarifies that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and the EU reaffirms its commitment to the Syrian people and neighboring countries, while stressing the need to remain committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian state. That was the main message conveyed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Minas Hadjimichael, participating today on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, at the second Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region.

More specifically the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed during his intervention at the conference that “Today, we reaffirm once again our commitment to the Syrian people and neighboring countries, while we stress the need to remain committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian state.”

“There can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and we have all been witness to the horrors and suffering that this ongoing conflict has brought on the Syrian people, including the use of chemical weapons which Cyprus condemns unreservedly”, said Ambassador M.Hadjimichael.

He also stressed that “the best protection, assistance and support we can all give to the Syrian people is through a political solution, in line with UNSCR 2254, the 2012 Geneva Communique and negotiated by the Syrian parties within the UN-led Geneva process”.

“UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura not only needs to be commended for his tireless efforts, but also needs to be given our full support not just in word, but in deeds”, warned Ambassador Hadjimichael.

“Just over a week ago, the EU in acknowledging the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, and in particular in Eastern Ghouta, Afrin, and Idlib, reiterated the need to improve access and protection, as well as to promote humanitarian principles for the delivery of aid in Syria”, he said, adding that “it also stressed the urgent need for humanitarian organizations to be provided with safe, unhindered and immediate humanitarian access, throughout Syria, and for the existence of the necessary conditions that would allow for a safe, voluntary and dignified return of the internally displaced persons and refugees to their homes”.

“For this to become a reality, all parties involved in the Syrian conflict without exception must fully abide by and implement the nationwide ceasefire unanimously agreed in UNSC Resolution 2401”, the Permanent Secretary clarified.

Turning to the specific aid coordinated by Cyprus, the Ambassador said that “today, we must also reconfirm our serious commitment to provide support to Jordan and Lebanon, as well as to Iraq and Egypt, who have demonstrated their commitment and resilience in hosting millions of Syrian refugees despite the ensuing massive financial burden and social challenges”.

He also explained that “in recognition of the disproportionate burden for Lebanon and Jordan from the refugee crisis again at the London Conference Cyprus pledged 2,3 million euro to the two countries.”

“This has been disbursed through the EU, as will the remaining half a million euro for 2018 and a smaller amount for 2019”, he clarified, adding that “Cyprus will also contribute a total of 140.000 euro in humanitarian aid for 2018 and 2019.”

“Beyond maintaining the contributions for UN OCHA and UNHCR programs in Jordan, Lebanon year-on-year, Cyprus has already significantly increased its contribution to UNRWA budget for 2018”, said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirming that “the EU and its member states are in unison as regards the support given for the resilience of the Syrian people which we will continue doing so”.

The EU and the UN co-chair the Conference with the goal of mobilizing humanitarian assistance within Syria, but also in host communities in neighboring countries, such as Jordan and Lebanon. It also aims to garner political support for the UN-led peace process.

Source: Cyprus News Agency