syriaIt’s been almost three months since we last posted about events in Syria. Since then, the civil war has ground into a bloody stalemate, with neither side likely to claim victory anytime soon. Following a sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of people back in August, there was brief talk of Western intervention until Mr Assad agreed to destroy his chemical weapons stockpile. Since then, fears have been growing that extremists within the rebel movement are gaining strength. Against this backdrop, Russian and American diplomats are hoping to hold a peace conference next month to push for a political solution to the conflict.

Is there anything European leaders can do to influence events and bring the war to a close? Or is this a regional matter which Europe is better off leaving to other powers? We had a comment sent in by Emmanuel, who argues that there is ultimately only one actor that can bring an end to the war in Syria:

It’s time to ask Putin to be the architect of a political solution to the Syrian war, because Russia cannot accept to lose its last vassal in the Middle East… Europe, as well as the USA, should open their eyes and accept that the [‘sphere of influence’] policy is back… and that Syria is [within Russia’s ‘sphere of influence’]. This is cynical, I know, but it’s the reality…

To get a response, we took Emmanuel’s comment to the Hungarian Minister of Defence, Csaba Hende:

Hende-CsabaAs a Central European country, Hungary remembers the damage the Cold War ‘sphere of influence’ mindset did. The destruction and havoc of the two World Wars in Europe serve as a stark reminder for it. Today, the situation in Syria is quite complicated as it is, and the successful resolution of the crisis hinges on multiple factors. We welcome the efforts of all members of the international community aimed at stopping a violent civil war and stabilizing the country…

[Hungary] believes that a comprehensive and lasting settlement in Syria can only be achieved through a political solution. Further, we have already offered Hungarian experts to the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN to eliminate the Syrian chemical weapons program, which opens the way to a rapid, reliable and transparent dismantlement of the chemical weapons in Syria.

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What do YOU think? Is there anything European leaders can do to help end the bloodshed in Syria? Or is Russia the only country that can truly broker a political solution? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    Paul X

    NO, if the UN cannot sort it then how would you expect the EU lunch club do anything about it?

    Despite it’s ambitions for global power the EU is toothless when faced with any aggression, it should keep out of such things and stick to what it does best, devising ways of hindering European businesses and squandering EU taxpayers money

  2. avatar
    George Danieldsg

    Turkey has 40.000 occupational forces at a E.U. member state.Cyprus.A few days ago mr Erdogan declared that there is not a country named Cyprus.European leaders can do everything but do nothing at all for a member state.About Syrians expressed there willingness to attack against the country for chemical weapons stopped at the last moment by Russia.

  3. avatar
    Michele Browne

    George you need to read your history (and not that written by the ROC) and find out why Turkish troops are here in the TRNC (do you know how many Greek soldiers there are in the south) The Annan Plan included the withdrawal of troops and agreements on other issues which both sides agreed to but at the referendum the North said YES and the South said NO! The EU had agreed to accept the reunited island into the EU and reward the North for saying YES. The EU renaged on that and the ROC joined the EU and have since used every chance they get to VETO anything to do with Turkey or the TRNC. This island does not belong to Greeks or Greek Cypriots alone it’s home to Turkish and Turkish Cypriots to.

    • avatar
      Samuel Tandorf

      The Greek soldiers in the South are still EU citizens.Turkish troops have no bona fide reason to be occupying that part of the EU.

  4. avatar
    Hélder Vieira

    Europe could at least make an effort not to be part of the problem. And I’m thinking about the french imperial wet dreams, here…
    Having solved that issue, the EU should force the saudi kinglets to taste their own medicine, and by this I mean that the EU should openly finance any ( preferably the most bestial ) group willing to bring down the saudi regime. Slapping the turkish wanabe caliph would be interesting, too.
    Next, the EU should force itself to find a rational agreement with Iran, in which this country is given clear, unmistakable guarantees about its security.
    Then, the russian bastards should be invited to dinner. At some point in time the issue of their identity should be discussed, it’s quite boring to see them relentlessly trying to build an energy forceps surrounding the rest of the family.
    Having solved all those small annoyances, I’m sure the syrian problems will be much easier to handle.

  5. avatar
    Samuel Tandorf

    First thing we need is a joint Army for the EU. How else can we even make our point come accross when every other country knows they can get away with it anyway. You need to be strong and sometimes show power to have people listen to you!

    • avatar
      Paul X

      And what exactly would be the mission statement of this army be?

      I’m sure the EU hierarchy would love an Army which could parade past them carrying the EU flag and saluting them as they stand on a platform looking on admiringly.

      Unfortunately it would be left to us taxpayers to foot the bill for a military white elephant which would be powerless to do anything as there would never be agreement between the EU member states on when such an army should be mobilised

    • avatar

      Who is this ‘we’ you mention? Please do not include me. The last thing I’d want to see is some kind of EU-army. Least of all not because the EU is undemocratic and resembles (politically) the Soviet Union.

  6. avatar
    catherine benning

    Russia and USA are the forces behind this carry on in Syria, and the Middle East in general. With the Saudis harping at the US to use force if any part of it won’t dance to the tune they want played. Add to that the complication of the interest in Iran with the neurotic Israeli contingent chomping at the bit to use their hot bombs wherever they can muster enough support for it and you have a set up that can topple into major thermonuclear war at the drop of a hat.

    How can Europe not be involved? More by placement than desire. We are stuck with US bases in our midst, which will be used to slaughter those the US decide to eliminate. And compelling us to accept their imperialism or else, by threatening under the withdrawal of protection notice.

    Europe, not to mention the UK, are in it up to their necks and pretending otherwise is frankly ridiculous. On the surface it appears the best way forward would be consulting closely with Russia. They appear to have more understanding of the Islamic mind set than the crazed war machine of the USA who is too heavily tangled with Israel to have a clear view. Not to mention Russia looks to be a balance against extremism.

    Economics is without doubt a forerunner to any war.

    And the desire to take over as the only player the second.

    European President advised on this, we are told, some time ago.

  7. avatar
    Abdel Bou

    [Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).]” (3:173).

    • avatar

      Did anybody ever tell you there is no ‘god’ or ‘allah’? So please stop bringing your imaginary friend into this.

      Its bad enough to have these Brussels types prancing around declaring they shouldn’t have to pay income tax.

  8. avatar
    Mihai Petru Ceuca

    Debating Europe , Russia has her own ways.. ever feld it ? If not, don’t wish for the syrians to teist it !

  9. avatar
    Luc Sabbe

    It is hard for our “civilized” world to accept that civil wars are still taking place and cost thenthousands of lives. Nevertheless, we should not interfere. Centuries ago there was also a solution every time. It just takes a number of years to reach that goal. We can only help to find that (political) solution.

  10. avatar
    Alex Tselentis

    Of course it can .. Turkey WIPED its ass with NATO and had Missile systems sent to them and now stationed there .. That for one was RIDICULOUS when this entire war from the get go was no war, instead Syria being invaded by terror groups, Turkey is the PROBLEM here with its slave master Isrl .. This is THEIR war .. Europe should condemn it, and cut all funding of rebels off, seeing they are Al Caida.

  11. avatar
    Emmanuel Rodary

    Syria is the last vassal state of Russia in the Middle-East it’s also it’s last vassal state opened to Mediterranean sea. Russia will never accept to let other country or organisation interfere with it’s strategical interest. If we want to help Syrian people, we need to agree with Putin, to trust him, and let him lead the solution to Syrian conflict.
    It’s hard to say but it’the only option, the only other alternative is war until rebellion resigns which is worse.

  12. avatar
    Emmanuel Rodary

    Alex Tselentis: rebels are not Al Qaida, some are, other fight against them. The situation is much more complicated than a simple war between 2 camps. There are several camps fighting each over. Al Qaida came as an additional belligerent. Eu states help rebels who fight against the regime and against other rebels from Al Qaida.
    And even this is a simplification of reality.

    • avatar

      Greece: “Give us more free money”
      Germany: “No”
      Greece: “Germany is acting against ‘Europe'”

      That kind of interaction?

  13. avatar
    Robert Bécude

    Europe should shut up – we are no example at all for those people… and Europe has no money anymore ; no army (???) only big mouth !!!

  14. avatar
    Feras Abo Hanzala

    I am from Syria and I left my country 28 days ago,
    please note that there is a humanitarian crisis there is Syria,
    Millions of Syrians lost there lives, homes, and future, and more than 150.000 died,

    Politically I have no idea how European people can’t notice that some EU governments are supporting terrorist, I don’t know if you are aware that the majority of the “rebels” who are fighting for “freedom” are supported by USA, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey
    they are Islamic extremest came from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia, and even Europe.
    they have the same “Al-Qaeda” ideology and worse, they are terrorist aliens from Syrians.

    As you may know Syria has more than 23 sectors and religions, including Christians, Jewish, alawaites, She’a, durzeis, and others,
    these “rebels” are slaughtering every non Muslim Syrians in the name of god, and the name of the future Islamic state!!

    on the other hand we are facing a brutal savage dictatorship has been ruling Syria for 43 years, supported by Russia: politically, financially, and maritally.

    The only thing the whole world can do for now is to stop arming booth sides and start a political settlement can save the most incest civilized inhabited spot on history, and start for a new era for Syrians based on democracy and the rule of law, NOT political Islam, nor a one party rule.

    Syria is a great country with a huge history,
    Syrians are very nice and emotional people who are paying the big countries bills and conspiracies…

    We do not deserve all this.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Feras Abo Hanzala.
      I agree that the EU, USA, Russia, KSA and Iran [the only nation in the world with a name that is doubly discriminatory ie “Islamic” and “Iran” (aka Aryan)] need to get out of Syria BUT only after a ceasefire and a political dialogue aimed at peace have been guaranteed.

      However, I agree with you that Syria has a long and great history but today and indeed at least for the last 3/4 dictatorial decades it is NOT and has not been a great country.

  15. avatar

    In the foreground must prevent states funded terrorism and not to send arms to Syria extremists will be okay

  16. avatar
    Frank Comhaire

    stop granting money to both sides (well probabbly many more than 2 sides…). War NEVER solves problems. But “money is the nerve of the war”. Certainly some companies, wicked persons and governments are gaining money from this war. And, as ALWAYS, the population suffers. Apparently these countries need dictatorship, and their “temperament” makes them inapt for our type of democracy (see Irak, Afganistan, etc).

  17. avatar
    Roberto Flamini

    Es un error considerar a Siria como vasallo de Rusia. Ésa forma de pensar no ayuda a la búsqueda de una solución pacífica en la región.
    Una eventual intervención de Europa en Siria, no es positiva, por sus antecedentes bélicos.
    Europa aliado de los Estados Unidos, está más interesada en diseminar el terrorismo en el mundo Árabe, que en buscar una solución pacífica en la región.
    Si Occidente deja de financiar a los rebeldes Sirios, el conflicto terminaría muy pronto

    It is a mistake to see Syria as a vassal of Russia. Such thinking does not help the search for a peaceful solution in the region.
    A possible European intervention in Syria is not good. Because it has funded the conflict in the region
    As an ally of the United States, Europe is more interested in the spread of terrorism in the Arab world, and not in a peaceful settlement in the region.
    If the West does not fund the Syrian rebels, the conflict would end soon

  18. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    @ Michele Browne: I will not deal with the substance of your post. It’s not really necessary. I must, however, deal with your (as well as some of your fellow citizens) unreasonable anxious, to justify the Turkish occupation in North Cyprus.
    Has this something to do with the fact that you (as well as some of your fellow citizens) have bought illegally (and cheap) from the regime, houses that belongs to Greek Cypriots?
    I thought so!!

  19. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris.

    Right now as things are, Europe can do nothing to help Syria.. We are still practicing post WW2 politics… The UN is still divided and formed after the post WW2 agreements and balance of power.. China and Russia, against USA Britain and France as the permanent UN Security Council member states, with a few weak and small nations to represent other regions, giving the UN a “democratic” and “fair” image, when it is anything but.. The world is still split between the two sides of power, that is why countries like Syria can not get any help without starting WW3, and countries that are in the middle like Ukraine, will always suffer from instability and foreign meddling.. And we all know where that leads… Just look at Greece and the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus region…

    Reforming the United Nations is the solution, to create a new Security Council that will reshuffle the balance of power and allow more nations, like the BRICS to have more say, plus Japan, Germany and other key players..

    Only then the UN, and the EU under the UN’s supervision can resolve conflicts and disputes around the world, especially in its own neighborhood, when the balance of power in our planet is shifted from the North East-West divide, to a more global an equal one.. That will mean that both the West and the Eastern powers must lose out and accept new players in their game..

    For more, read here:

  20. avatar
    Fernando De Rojas Parets

    Europe Union should act as far as possible and implicate in the liberation of Syria by ethic obligation and a political necessity to show Europe exist

  21. avatar
    Laszlo Nagy

    Maybe if the Europeans would offer a large sum of money as an aid for rebuilding, sent when the conflict is over, that might be motivational.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      What you mean to ease the conscience of the EU leaders at the expense of the EU taxpayers?

  22. avatar

    you guys need to really learn some stuff man, the eu is great your all losers

  23. avatar
    Mario Martinovic

    No.EU please don’t help them.You already “helped” in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the result of your help was genocide.That’s why Croats are angry with the EU.Because of the “help” in the 90’s.

  24. avatar
    Jonathan Colquhoun

    Yes, we need to to save life’s of the innocent.

  25. avatar
    Paul Grant

    Why should it?? Let the much vaunted arab league actually do something useful!

  26. avatar
    Markus Taylor

    You’ll find that the “Syrian opposition” is the group that has been stalling peaceful dialogue. The Syrian government has been attempting to initiate talks for quite some time.

  27. avatar
    Les Templar

    The EU need to talk to Syria and try to find a peaceful way to end the fighting in Syria. Countries should not have made the situation worse in the first place by arming groups that have now turned into terrorists under the name IS or ISIL. Now its time to end the bloodshed.

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