EU-hosted Syria conference to shine spotlight on reconstruction


The reconstruction of war-torn Syria will be the focus on Wednesday of an international conference hosted by the European Union in Brussels.

The gathering, which began with talks on humanitarian aid on Tuesday, aims to bolster efforts to find a peace agreement by highlighting international willingness to start reconstruction of the country as soon as a political solution is found.

"I know it can seem surreal to start planning the peace while you're in the middle of a conflict," said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. She noted that planning the reconstruction of Syria could embolden people inside and outside the country to begin pushing for peace "after 7 years of having seen only destruction, war and chemical attacks."

"Planning the future, planning the peace is something that can have a certain power of attraction to some that can start seeing that there is an alternative," she said.

Wednesday's event was preceded by discussions on the humanitarian situation in Syria and the region on Tuesday, where the UN warned that Syrian refugees sheltering in surrounding countries had grown increasingly vulnerable.

The conference, which will be attended by more than 70 countries and organisations, will also focus on taking stock of humanitarian commitments pledged during a 2016 donor's conference in London, seeking additional pledges and boosting support for a political solution under UN auspices.    (dpa)

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