Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja expressed his concern on the alarming situation in Syria at a seminar organised by the UN Association of Finland on 24 August. The violence still continues in spite of appeals by the international community.
Tuomioja stressed that all violence and war crimes targeted to civilians – many of them children and women – is condemnable regardless of the perpetrator. War crimes must be investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice. These are prerequisites of democratic change and sustainable stability in the Syrian society, Tuomioja said.
The situation in Syria has many alarming aspects, such as the increasing flux of refugees to the neighbouring countries of Syria. Tuomioja stressed the international community's responsibility for supporting the countries that are receiving Syrian refugees.
According to Tuomioja, after 18 months of continuous crisis in Syria, the future holds three optional scenarios: at its worst, the violence will continue and lead into a humanitarian crisis without winners. Another option is an intervention by the international community to protect the civilians, to end the violence in Syria and to encourage the parties to negotiate a political solution. This option, however, would entail choosing a side in the conflict. The situation in Syria is not parallel with Libya, and the chances for a successful intervention are slim. Moreover, an unsuccessful operation could even exacerbate the situation.
As the third and the most desirable option Tuomioja referred to coherent international cooperation and pressure for a political solution between the parties in order to launch a transition process and start reconstruction. This option, too, would require efforts to stabilise Syria and maintain sustainable peace.
Further information: Press Attaché to the Minister Susanna Parkkonen, tel. +358 40 743 5355