Congressman Himes proposes negotiations on Syria

Congressman Himes proposes negotiations on Syria
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Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes announces resolution calling for negotiations on Syria, refugee crisis. On eve of Vienna II talks, strategy must also plan for eradication of ISIL.

English: Portrait picture of Connecticut 4th C...

English: Portrait picture of Connecticut 4th Congressional District Congressman-Elect Jim Himes. Photo taken at Himes Campaign Victory Party on Election Day, November 4th 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, along with 15 other members of the House, announced a resolution calling on President Obama to use multilateral international negotiations to bring an end to the Syrian Civil War and the refugee crisis it has spawned, and to develop a multilateral comprehensive strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“Last month, I was joined by 54 of my colleagues in calling on the President to convene international negotiations in this area. Today, on the eve of those negotiations commencing at the Vienna II talks, it is absolutely imperative that Congress not remain silent about our strategy in Syria,” said Himes. “Unless we speak up and express the desire of the American people to fully support efforts to peacefully end to the Syrian Civil War using diplomacy, we risk the United States engaging in another open-ended conflict in the Middle East.”

The resolution encourages the President to convene international negotiations intended to stop the civil war in Syria, including the Vienna II effort, and provide for political change away from President Bashar al-Assad towards a popularly supported, accountable Syrian leadership. Furthermore, the resolution requests immediate measures to protect and stem the flow of refugees from Syria and to provide for the return of those who have fled. Finally, it calls for the creation of a coordinated international strategy for the defeat of ISIL.

“All of these crises – the Syrian Civil War, the refugee crisis, and the expansion of ISIL – stem from the same instability in the region,” Himes continued. “Every additional bomb that falls or soldier who joins the fight adds to that escalating instability and violence. The only way to bring about an end to the problem is to engage all of the states that have influence and interests in Syria to find a peaceful, diplomatic solution.”

Joining Congressman Himes on the resolution are Representatives John Carney, Andre Carson, Yvette Clarke, John Conyers, Keith Ellison, Elizabeth Esty, Marcy Kaptur, Derek Kilmer, Jim McDermott, Seth Moulton, Bill Pascrell, Mike Quigley, Katherine Rice, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky.

Here is the full text of the resolution:

The Arab Daily News

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114TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. RES. ll

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should use the full authority of his office to convene international negotiations intended to stop the civil war in Syria.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should use the full authority of his office to convene international negotiations intended to stop the civil war in Syria.

Whereas as of September, 2015, the Syrian civil war has now lasted more than 4 years, resulting in the deaths of more than 300,000 people, creating more than 4,100,000 refugees, and displacing more than 7,600,000 people within the country;

Whereas the refugee crisis has been an immense and potentially destabilizing challenge to the Middle East region, and is now affecting Europe and the United States, which have already spent billions in resources in humanitarian assistance;

Whereas continued military escalation, including the introduction of military equipment, personnel, and air strikes by Russia, as well as the introduction of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, will further the devastation of the Syrian populace, exacerbate the refugee crisis, and risk potentially dangerous unintended encounters between the belligerents;

Whereas the current United States strategies to resolve the conflict and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria have not been effective;

Whereas this includes the military strategy to train, equip, and support Syrian rebels, as well as other efforts to remove President al-Assad and ensure peace and stability in the country;

Whereas the United States, the United Nations, and the international community did attempt significant steps to resolve the conflict and transition to a new government in Syria in the Geneva I Conference on Syria on June 30, 2012, and the Geneva II Conference on Syria in January and February of 2014;

Whereas President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made concerted efforts on September 27, 2015, through September 30, 2015, at the United Nations and with their Russian counterparts, President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov, to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict in Syria, which is in the best security and moral interests of the United States; and

Whereas Secretary of State John Kerry has followed these diplomatic efforts by participating in the multinational Vienna II talks on the political resolution of the Syrian conflict beginning on October 30, 2015: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) calls on the President to convene international negotiations intended to stop the civil war in Syria, which can and should include further pursuing the Vienna II effort;

(2) requests that these negotiations—

(A) stabilize the country and provide for political change towards a popularly supported, accountable Syrian leadership;

(B) implement immediate measures to protect, and stem the flow of, refugees from Syria and provide for the return of those who have fled; and

(C) create a coordinated international strategy for the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is in the best interests of all international parties; and

(3) calls on the other nations that have an interest or involvement in the region and conflict to join these negotiations and commit to transitioning from the current al-Assad government and countering the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Arab Daily News

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The Arab Daily News

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