The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has today condemned "the continuing, systematic and gross human rights violations, amounting to crimes against humanity, committed in Syria," and called on Europe to show greater solidarity with Syrians who are victims of the conflict and the neighbouring states sheltering them.
In a resolution based on a report by Giacomo Santini (Italy, EPP/CD), the Assembly said the humanitarian situation was "becoming more and more critical" for the estimated 1.2 million Syrians who have had to leave their homes, of which nearly 300,000 are refugees in neighbouring countries. Shortages of food, hygiene products and a lack of accommodation were creating a "drastic" situation in refugee camps, it said.
Thanking Turkey, as well Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, for their efforts to receive refugees - despite the organisational and security problems of this task - PACE said the international community had shown "relative silence and inaction" so far, and called for more money, an easing of asylum procedures for refugees from Syria and a resettlement action plan.
Describing the conflict as "a full-fledged civil war", the parliamentarians also called for an air exclusion zone enforced by the UN Security Council, humanitarian corridors and - as rapidly as possible - a ceasefire, the necessary precondition for any political solution, including through the good offices of the international mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi.