Himes announces resolution calling for negotiations on Syria, refugee crisis
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, Kathleen Rice, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky.