The news that the regime in Damascus used chemical weapons against civilians has mobilised the international community, which is weighing the pros and cons of a military intervention in Syria.
Over 1,000 people killed and around 2 million refugees – this is the tragic toll of the two-year long civil war in Syria. The struggle for power between the rebels and president Bashar al-Assad’s supporters has no regard for human lives. The regime in Damascus has been accused by both the Syrian opponents and by many Western and Arab countries of having recently used chemical weapons against civilians, something the government vehemently denies. The international community must not remain silent, said US president Barack Obama, who called for a military intervention to end the civil war. For their part, western powers are trying to obtain the approval of their national parliaments before a prospective intervention in Syria. Iulian Chifu, a foreign policy adviser to the president of Romania, says diplomacy may make a contribution to the efforts to solve the conflict:
Iulian Chifu: “Everybody is aware that, regardless of whether an attack may or may not take place, a final solution will still have to be found at the negotiating table. It is important for diplomatic efforts to continue, with the military factor only acting as a credible threat that may help increase the flexibility of some of the players involved.”
On the other hand, president Traian Basescu says Romania’s position in this respect, which remains unchanged, is based on prudence, in order to protect the Romanian citizens who request consular assistance:
Traian Basescu: “As regards the position of the Romanian state with respect to Syria, it is the same one that we presented at the meeting with the Romanian ambassadors abroad, namely that at this stage Romania must have a cautious stand on the issue. When our allies decide to take measures to make it clear to Damascus that using toxic gas for military purposes is intolerable, Romania will show solidarity with its allies. You may wonder why this prudence. Well, we must keep in mind the Romanian citizens from mixed families and their children who are living in Syria. Another problem is that the holders of Romanian passports in Syria are not all in one place, but scattered around the country.”
In his turn, prime minister Victor Ponta said Bucharest firmly condemns the criminal acts committed or condoned by the authorities in Damascus. Victor Ponta added that it is Bucharest’s duty to show full solidarity with the countries that call for compliance with international laws.