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+++ Europe: Mogherini (EU) to SIR, “political response needed for Syria”. Common defence? “It is a reality” +++

(Brussels) “The European Union firmly believes that the armed conflict in Syria cannot be solved with military means”, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini says in an interview with SIR news agency. “We are working for peace and for a political agreement between the regime and the Syrian opposition forces that may lead to a transition period under the aegis of the UN. For a future of peace, Syria will have to guarantee the security and freedom of all citizens throughout the Country, regardless of their religion, political orientation and cultural identity”. There are increasing calls for a common European defence policy: is a new security and defence strategy at EU level a feasible option? “Not only is it possible; it is also a reality. Over the past nine months – Mogherini continues -, we adopted a new Global Strategy to confront foreign policy, security and defence, and we have begun implementing various lines of action. For example, in the area of defence and security we set up a ‘Military Planning and Conduct Capability’ (MPCC) in Brussels”, that is, “a single coordination centre of all EU military training missions. And we plan to implement further lines of action”. The EU “isn’t only a soft power. 16 EU missions and operations are already up and running, from Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. But for us, the use of military means is always part of a wider strategy, as we firmly believe that no war will ever be solved with the use of force”.

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