According to a US State Department spokesman, a joint international meeting on Syria emphasized the importance of pushing for a comprehensive political solution that protects Syria’s territorial integrity, unity, and sovereignty, including the return of refugees, a ceasefire, and “free and fair” elections.
On August 30 and 31, representatives from the League of Arab States, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, Iraq, Jordan, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, and the US met in Geneva at the level of envoys to discuss the Syrian crisis.
The statement reaffirmed the countries’ commitment to “reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis following UN Security Council Resolution 2254, including continued support for the implementation and maintenance of an immediate nationwide ceasefire, the Constitutional Committee, the holding of free and fair elections, the termination of arbitrary detention, and the release of all those wrongfully detained.”
The statement called for “safe conditions and a voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons following the standards of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as support for the provision of adequate and sustainable assistance to the displaced and the countries and communities hosting them until these conditions are available.”
The statement expressed concern about the “persistent threat posed by ISIS,” and the countries present reiterated their “commitment to the mission of the international coalition against ISIS, as well as combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
According to the statement, the countries participating in the meeting stressed that “there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis,” reiterating their “continued support for the UN Special Envoy, Geir Pedersen, and his tireless efforts to advance an UN-facilitated political process in line with Security Council Resolution 2254.”
The countries expressed their “deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and the continued suffering of the Syrian people.”
They emphasized the importance of continuing to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and early recovery throughout Syria through all channels, including the expansion and extension of the cross-border aid mechanism established by Security Council Resolution 2642, for which no alternative is commensurate with its scope and size.”
They also emphasized the importance of continuing to press for accountability for all atrocities and international crimes committed in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons, as well as a full accounting of the missing.
The conflict in Syria has claimed about half a million people and led to the displacement of more than half of the population inside and outside the country.
About 13.4 million people across Syria needed assistance in 2021, compared to 11.1 million in 2020, according to the UN.