“The situation of youth in Syria It is very difficult.. and the feeling of fear and distrust of one another has increased as a result of the strict restrictions imposed by the Cybercrime Law, and this sad reality is the main factor that drives them to seek a safe haven away from their homeland.”
This is how the head of the European mission to Syria, Dan Stoinescu, summed up the situation he saw during his recent visit last week to Damascus and his meeting with a number of young people looking to leave the country.
From the vicinity of the Yarmouk camp in Damascus (AFP)
In an interview with Al-Arabiya.net, he said, “The economic situation is cause for concern, and the Syrian youth do not have it Any career aspirations or projectsThey have no hope that the situation will change in the short term. “
He also added that the Syrians believe that rapprochement with the Arab countries will not be translated into large investments that will soon reflect positively on the quality of life in their country.
However, he pointed out at the same time that “this generation of Syrian youth weaves relations better than the previous generation, despite the daily challenges it faces.”
From Damascus (AFP)
Their freedom is restricted
“They all use virtual private networks (VPNs) to communicate in addition to alternative media sources on the Internet. They talk to their families and friends in the diaspora and understand the difference between them. They know the truth, but their freedom of expression is restricted,” he added.
In addition, Stoinescu pointed out, “The catastrophic financial conditions forced most Syrians to live in an individual way, which led to the elimination of the possibility of collective initiative to initiate change, and this constitutes an important obstacle to any form of societal progress.”
Post-war is even more devastating
“The opinions of young Syrians from diverse backgrounds and professions, with whom I spoke, agreed that the ‘post-war’ period is more destructive than the years during which the conflict was at its most intense,” he said.
He also regretted that “many of the brilliant young Syrians, instead of being a source of recovery for their country, become refugees in Europe, in the Gulf states, or anywhere else.”
On my way back from Syria to Beirut, I feel very sad. Nine out of ten young Syrians want to leave the country, every five of them have concrete plans and four of them are learning German! These are mostly brilliant educated people and it is a pity that they will not stay to help their country. In Damascus, addressing the causes has become…
— Dr Dan Stoenescu (@DanStoenescuEU) June 21, 2023
The European ambassador considered, “Restoring the hope of Syrians and young people to live safely and without fear begins with bringing about real political change in Damascus and stopping security practices against them.”
He also pointed out that “comprehensive reform in the economic sector is vital, contributing to creating a space for growth from which young people can benefit from developing their capabilities, and thus putting their country on the road to recovery.” He believed that “when young people in Syria feel truly safe, they will begin to imagine their future and the future of their country.”
The political solution
In addition, he considered, “The solution today for Syria, given the desire of its youth to leave and the reluctance of refugees to return to it, is to seek a political solution that paves the way for a sustainable peace that begins with accountability and trial of all actors in the war during the past 12 years.”
He stressed, “The European Union supports a political solution to the crisis, and stands with the Syrian people, as was evident in the recent Brussels conference. Since the beginning of the crisis, we have provided aid to the Syrians, which has reached the limits of 30 billion euros. However, we have no idea regarding assistance in reconstruction before we see changes.” real politics in Damascus.
A banner for Bashar al-Assad (archive – Reuters)
Substantial concessions from Damascus
However, he stressed, “The European Union insists on its position that Damascus must make substantial concessions before any normalization of relations with it.” He called on Damascus to “fulfill its obligations agreed upon with the Arab countries and set forth in the Amman Declaration, to take credible steps to implement Security Council Resolution 2254 and to engage sincerely with the mission of the UN Special Envoy.”
In addition, he concluded by saying, “The Union will continue to call for a political solution to the Syrian conflict under the leadership of the United Nations and the Special Envoy, with an emphasis on the importance of justice, accountability, and accountability for human rights violators and perpetrators of war crimes, because the Syrian people have suffered a lot.”
The head of the European Union delegation said in a tweet a few days ago, during his departure from Syria heading to Beirut, that “9 out of 10 young people want to leave (equivalent to 90 percent of the youth in the country). He mentioned that 5 already have concrete plans and 4 are learning German !
Since 2011, the conflict has erupted in Syria, following bloody fighting that left hundreds of thousands dead, between the army and the armed opposition factions. Meanwhile, the economic and social conditions have worsened, to the extent that about 90% of Syrians are now living below the poverty line, and more than 15 million are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
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