Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-04-30-Speech-4-658-000"

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"Mr President, I will start by congratulating the rapporteurs and colleagues for the very constructive way in which we put this motion together. I think there is a great deal to be recommended within it. I very much support our previous speaker who set out the background to the Yarmouk refugee camp. Even the way it is described is slightly misleading; this is a long-established Palestinian settlement on the outskirts of Damascus, more of a suburb of a city rather than a camp in its own right. It has been in existence since 1957. It was supposed, of course, to be temporary, but until Palestinian refugees can go home they remain particularly vulnerable. That is where this resolution is important. The Palestinian people are particularly vulnerable within Syria, with upwards of 480 000 Palestinian refugees scattered across 60 camps throughout the wider region. Ninety-five percent of these people rely on UNRWA for their daily needs. The camp was besieged by the Assad regime forces, creating a humanitarian disaster, and then became a battleground for various other factions, and remains so now. The chaos is a humanitarian crisis unfolding on the very outskirts of the Syrian capital. We must see, as we have expressed in paragraph 9, humanitarian pauses in the fighting as proposed by UN Special Envoy De Mistura. We must also see the EU, as we state in paragraph 10, play a much greater role in brokering a political solution within Syria, and I would also add Palestine to give the refugees a home to go to. We welcome, of course, Commissioner, the humanitarian aid the EU has given, but in this case the criticism of the EU as a payer rather than a player has never been more just. We must, for the people in the region and indeed ourselves, do better to foster a political solution."@en1

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