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Perhaps there will be no NATO operation in Syria

16 December 2013 / 23:12:00  GRReporter
2586 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Greece's relations with its partners were discussed at a seminar on "European Defence: the Role of NATO and the EU" organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy ELIAMEP in Athens. Its participants shared the opinion that NATO should pursue a moderate policy without resorting to military operations before considering the results of the previous ones. According to them, the big challenge for the EU is to find the right policy, which will help the countries experiencing conflicts to resolve them in a peaceful manner. "In the case of the Balkans, there is the promise of integration. As regards the Middle East, however, the formula that will lead to the stabilization of the region has not yet been found."
As stated by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Theodoros Daskarolis, the North Atlantic Alliance had already demonstrated restraint towards Syria. "NATO is confined to the implementation of defensive measures as regards the probability of the conflict affecting Turkey but it has not intervened more actively like some individual member states of the organisation have done."

He presented examples of Afghanistan, where the production of opium has increased after the military intervention as well as the influx of immigrants. Such is the example of Libya, where forces that are far from being defined as guarantors of stability have established themselves in power after the operation.

According to the participants in the discussion, Greece should support possible proposals for military intervention by the EU in countries where there are conflicts. "We should put on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the European Council for Defence and Security in the EU the hottest topics for us, which include the taking of joint measures against illegal immigration, changing the Dublin 1 and 2 regulations, safeguarding the external borders of the EU with joint efforts, undertaking a policy to help stop the Middle East conflicts peacefully. I am talking about countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and others from which a large number of immigrants are coming," said former Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pavlos Apostolidis.

He excluded the probability of Europe taking military actions against Syria without U.S. involvement. "For the moment we are seeing that even those European countries which supported the Syrian opposition in a very definite way at the beginning of the conflict are now withdrawing their support as they have established that much of the weaponry sent by them has fallen into the hands of the extremists," he added.

According to the participants in the discussion, Greece must seize the opportunity presented to it by the rotating presidency of the European Union to raise the hot issue of illegal immigration. "The problem has not been internal for a long time and the next president of the EU will be Italy, which is facing considerable problems with the influx of immigrants from Africa too," they stated. In addition, Honorary Ambassador Pavlos Apostolidis said that the countries in Northern and Western Europe must be pressed to change their policy towards immigrants. According to him, the majority of them have already announced their intention to adopt only a few hundreds of the thousands immigrants entering the territory of the European Union each week.

Tags: PoliticsDefenceSecurityNATOEuropean UnionELIAMEPIllegal immigrationSyriaMilitary operation
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