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EU, Arab League to rebuild Syria


CAIRO: The European Union (EU) and the Arab League have agreed to take part in rebuilding post-civil war Syria once a political transition begins in the country.

The fourth ministeria­l meeting between the League of Arab States and the EU took place yesterday in Cairo. The Arab League was led by Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui, while European ministers were led by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The Ministers expressed their commitment to support the reconstruc­tion of Syria only once an inclusive political transition is firmly under way to support the safe return of the millions of Syrian people who have fled their homes.

The statement also said the ministers were concerned with the situation in Aleppo and condemned the recent recapture of the city by Syrian government forces, calling the offensive an “indiscrimi­nate attack”.

The joint statement called for humanitari­an access to besieged areas in Aleppo and the rest of Syria, as well the immediate cessation of hostilitie­s throughout the country.

During the ministeria­l meeting, the sides also dis- cussed counter-terrorism, illegal migration, internatio­nal crime, as well as the conflicts in Libya, Yemen and Iraq.

Syria has been devastated by a bitter civil war since 2011.

On December 16, the Russian Defence Ministry’s centre for Syrian reconcilia­tion said that the Syrian army operation to liberate the eastern neighbourh­oods of Aleppo was over, and that Syrian government troops were now concentrat­ing on eliminatin­g the final elements of militant resistance.

Western officials accused Syrian troops of committing atrocities during the rapid offensive. – Sputnik

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