EU ready to deal with Syria’s Assad if he changes his behaviour

Syrian regime President Bashar Al-Assad has to change his behaviour if he wants EU support, EU High Representative of Foreign Policy and Vice-President Josep Borrell said yesterday.

Speaking during a conference held in Brussels, Josep said: “Only after it [Assad regime] changes its behaviour, stops the repression against its own people and engages in the political process, we can start talking about normalisation.”

He added: “Let me be very clear about another issue: there is a temptation to blame the dire state of the Syrian economy and the hardships of ordinary Syrian people on sanctions. I can talk about European Union sanctions and stress firmly that they do not target the civilian population.”

“There are no sanctions on humanitarian aid or on medical supplies. Our sanctions are targeting those oppressing the Syrian people, bombing health facilities and schools, and using chemical weapons.”

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Borrell continued: “We are mobilising international support behind the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2,254, the United Nations-led political process to settle the Syrian conflict.”

According to Borrell: “The only way towards a lasting peace is through United Nations-led intra Syrian negotiations in Geneva, not by military operations.”

The EU official hailed the attendance of the Syrian civil society at the conference which is being held in Belgium under the title ‘IV Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region. “They impressed us with their fresh ideas and their desire for a political solution and an end to the war,” he said, stressing that “they hold the key to a peaceful future for this war-torn country.”