The European People’s Party has considered the alarming humanitarian situation in the Middle East caused by the actions of extreme Islamic militant groups, namely ISIS/ISIL, Hamas and other associated groups.
Taking into account the 22 July 2014 EU Council Conclusions on Middle East Peace Process, the 15 August 2014 EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on Iraq and the 15 August UNSC Resolution adopted to combat ISIS fighters, the EPP states the following:
- We reaffirm that terrorism in all forms constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
- We stress that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of the international and regional organizations to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat.
- We reaffirm the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq and Syrian Arab Republic and we are gravely concerned that some territorial parts of Iraq and Syria are under control of the Islamic militants of ISIS.
- We are appalled by the brutal campaign of expulsion, persecution and murder of Christian communities in Iraq and Syria that the Islamic militants of ISIS are currently carrying out. Thousands of people are forced to convert to Islam or face beheading.
- We are gravely concerned of the deterioration of women’s rights and well- being in the areas controlled by the militants as well as the dramatic humanitarian situation of the minority of Yazidis, who are also forced by ISIS to convert to Islam.
- We are appalled by the incidents of kidnapping, hostage-taking and recent beheadings, committed by ISIS, other individuals, groups, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, like Al-Nusrah Front.
- We are highly concerned at the increased flow of foreign terrorist fighters operating in the Middle East region and the consequently threat posed to the International Community.
- We condemn the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas and militant groups in the Gaza Strip, directly harming civilians. We call on Hamas to renounce violence and make sure that the indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel will not take place again.
- We recognise Israel’s right to defend itself against any attacks and at the same time we underline the need for protection of civilians at all times. We also believe in a comprehensive two-state solution plan in order to bring forward peace and stability in the Middle East region.
- We condemn the loss of hundreds of civilian lives, among them many women and children, during the latest fighting in Gaza, on both sides.
- We welcome the 27th August agreement between Israel and Hamas to declare a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, we remain concerned until the parties reach a comprehensive peace agreement.
- We stress that actions by Islamic militant groups, apart from destabilizing the whole region, threaten to jeopardize plans for the exploitation of natural gas reserves found between Cyprus, Israel, Palestinian Authority and Egypt set to play a central role in the much needed bolstering of EU’s energy security
In view of the above, we invite the European Council and the UNSG to:
Further deplore and condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist acts of ISIS, its violent extremist ideology and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.
- Condemn the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, atrocities, mass executions, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned by the kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention and attacks on schools and hospitals in Iraq and Syria.
- Demand that ISIS/ISIL Hamas, Hezbollah and all other terrorist groups, destabilizing the Middle East region, to cease all violence and terrorist acts, and disarm and disband with immediate effect.
- Call upon the International Community to take all necessary and appropriate measures in accordance with their obligations under international law to counter incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism and intolerance perpetrated by individuals or entities associated with ISIS/ISIL Hamas, Hezbollah and all other terrorist groups.
- Call upon the International Community to take national measures to identify European citizens who are joining ISIS and monitor them at their return to Europe to identify internal threats against European security.
- Call upon the International Community to take national measures to suppress any action that could assist the militant groups in any way. Also to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.
- Provide all necessary support to countries neighbouring Iraq and Syria which take people in trying to escape ISIS militant persecution. We must aim at the return of all refugees to their regions of origin to live again in peace and in security. Moreover, comprehensive protection for Christians and other religious minorities must be established.
- Take steps to strengthen security in Mediterranean countries that are at risk by any form of action by ISIS, Hamas, or other associated Islamic extremist groups. Cyprus, especially, is the frontline of the European Union in this part of the world, playing a key role in the Eastern Mediterranean region, experiencing the threat of Islamic extremism, as a result of illegal settlers brought to Cyprus by the Turkish Occupation.
- Call on the European Union to encourage the recent steps taken by the United States and its allies in forming concrete measures to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
- Call upon the parties in the Israeli – Palestinian conflict to resume meaningful negotiations with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution