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    Interview: Should the EU intervene in Syria?

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    europarltv

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    The civil war in Syria has caused over 26,000 deaths and forced over 250,000 people into exile. Public opinion has been mobilised. Can Europe intervene in Syria? We asked for the views of Slovenian MEP Jelko Kacin and Belgian Véronique De Keyser. Should a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors be introduced in Syria, as proposed by Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberals Group in the EP? We know that implies military intervention. So it's the start, the first step in a military intervention. If this first step is taken without the agreement, either tacit or explicit, of Russia and China, the situation could degenerate and destabilise the whole Middle East. What we desperately need now is to prevent civilians from being victims of air strikes by the Syrian air force. That's why we simply need to impose a no-fly zone over Syria. This is a technical question. It's not a problem. It's manageable. The international community proved itself many times. Is military intervention the solution? You have to know who's going to intervene, who will be against it, what are the important military steps, etc. You need military experts. We know that Europe has no defence. It has no defence. It certainly has no intelligence service. So we're forced to rely on military experts who come from NATO or on intelligence systems from Member States. For the moment, we, as simple MEPs, haven't had from the External Action Service the possibility of having access to this type of information. The tragic story in the 1990s... In Bosnia nobody was ready to intervene and the situation was very similar. The Security Council was not able to adopt a resolution and a veto was always somewhere around. What we need to do now is to find a solution. The problem for the solution is that Syria is a multi-national, multi-faith, multi-cultural society and there is no consensus about the future of Syria. As long as there is no consensus, military intervention is extremely risky and counter-productive. Would an alternative to intervention be to supply arms to the Free Syrian Army? The weapons circuit is one of the circuits that works best. The problem is who the weapons go to, and the problem is that against tanks what we have is sometimes all right, but against aircraft it's not good enough. So the problem is, how far will we go in blocking the forces of Bashar al-Assad? Creating political consensus among Syrians of all different regions is a crucial challenge for all of us. That's why I believe that we politicians and especially the European Parliament would need to invite more Syrian politicians to come here to observe Syria from here, from Strasbourg or Brussels, to learn from the tragic experiences.

    EuroparlTV video ID: 5b69e72a-7467-47d9-a883-a0d100ea1026