The European Parliament hosted today a Conference for the International Mobilisation for Rebuilding Kobanê. The conference has drawn a lot of attention and was attended by parliamentarians and representatives of NGOs from different countries across Europe. The European Union has offered support for the rebuilding of Kobanê through the representative it sent to the conference, which started in the European Parliament this morning.
The conference under the title “International Mobilisation for Rebuilding Kobanê” started at the European Parliament with a video message of the President of the Parliament Martin Schultz. The conference was attended by the representatives of all the political groups in the parliament, who offered support to the conference and to the rebuilding process of Kobanê.
Vassilis Bontosoglou, the Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Syria, participated at the conference on behalf of the EU and presented the views of the Union about Kobanê’s situation.
Bontosoglou recalled in his speech that the liberation of Kobanê was achieved by waging a fight street by street with very little international support and added that Kobanê had become the symbol of the resistance against the terrorism and savagery of ISIS. Bontosoglou said the martyrs deserved respect for falling fighting for the liberation of the town.
He stressed that the solution cannot only be achieved by military means and added: “The European Union is determined to continue its support to the Syrians and their neighbors who have also been affected by the crisis”. The Syrian Ambassador recalled that the European Union issued a subsidy of 3,9 million euros for those who took refuge in Turkey at the start of the attacks on Kobanê and urged Turkey to help to the people from Kobanê who had to leave their home.
EU representatives stressed that the official borders must be opened for urgent medical aid and said the normalisation depends on the official status of the border between Turkey and Kobanê.
Bontosoglou drew attention to the fact that the security threat still remains as this has been proved by the recent attacks and added that the town must be cleared of the mines before the start of the rebuilding.
He announced that the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) has allocated resources for helping the rebuilding of Kobanê and that the aid will be delivered in coordination with the local administration of Kobanê. The EU representative stressed that the decision is a clear message of the European Union that it supports the restoration of public services and the normalisation of life in Kobanê and the other conflict areas in Syria.
Following the speech of Bontosoglou, Kobanê Canton President, Anwer Muslim made a presentation on the situation in Kobanê and said “Previously Kobanê was called the world-capital of resistance. Now it will be the world-capital of new life and humanity, and we have to work together to achieve this”.
Speaking after that, the European United Left Group representative attending the conference, Marie-Christine Vergiat, called on the international community to support and aid the rebuilding process of Kobanê. Member of the Christian Democrats in the European People’s Party Group, Eleni Theocharous, put emphasis on the importance of the rebuilding of Kobanê as the symbol of Kurdish liberation, urging the EU to try its best to help the rebuilding of Kobanê. She said “The Kurds are fighting not only for themselves, but also for us, for Europe and for the international community”.
The Christian Democrat MEP further said there are evidences regarding the support of the Turkish government to ISIS and called on Turkey to respect the freedom and the rights of the peoples of Turkey and to comply with the principles of the European Union. Teocharous also said Greece and Cyprus are ready to help Kobanê, adding that she is also willing to take part in the process on behalf of her parliamentary group.
Representatives of the other groups in the EP also made speeches calling for help to rebuilding of Kobanê.
The conference was also attended by the representatives of more than 40 international NGOs and agencies, including Diyarbakir (Amed) co-mayor Fırat Anlı, Eric Levalaine from Urgent Architects, Antoni Luis Trobat from Catalan NGO CIEMEN, as well as representatives from Handicap International, Medico International and various others carrying out facilities in different fields and in different places ranging from London to Geneva.