PACE discusses situation in the Middle East


The situation of religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East in general and in Iraq and Syria in particular has “evolved from alarming to desperate” as the terrorist group known as “IS” has been wreaking death and destruction, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said today. PACE official web-site writes about this. 

Adopting a resolution on the subject, the parliamentarians said that the first priority should be to stop the ongoing massacres. They called on member States of the Council of Europe to do “their utmost to contribute to bringing peace to the region”.

The text, based on the report by Theodora Bakoyannis (Greece, EPP/CD), expresses deep concern that around 3 000 young Europeans are fighting for “IS” in Iraq and Syria and urges the member States of the Council of Europe to increase efforts to identify them, as well as “to identify and dismantle recruitment channels”. In addition, “IS” sources of funds should be identified and, whenever possible, neutralised and sanctioned.

The Assembly said that current humanitarian missions are woefully insufficient “given the unprecedented humanitarian crisis”, and called for increased humanitarian aid supplies to existing refugee camps across Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and the further expansion of aid programs. It urged the international community to come forward with a globally organized and well-funded programme for reconstruction to the affected areas, supervised by the UN.

“Inclusivity must be promoted at all levels, both in Iraq and in Syria”, the resolution underlines. The Iraqi Government and the Iraqi security forces have a responsibility “to ensure reported incidents of excessive force and discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities under the former government are not repeated”.

The Assembly called on member States of the Council of Europe and the international community in general to support the Government of Iraq in its attempts to provide a credible alternative away from the pull of “IS”.

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