June 5, 2014
After the first day of the G7 summit in Brussels Francois Hollande announced that more than thirty French citizens have been killed in Syria’s civil war. Hollande argued that in order to “prevent, deter and punish this type of movement, which could put our own security at risk, we must continue to cooperate.” The president stressed the importance of intelligence sharing as one of the primary modes of such cooperation.
According to figures released by French officials in April, nearly three hundred Frenchmen have gone to fight in Syria and have participated in combat. More than one hundred are said to be travelling to regions currently held by rebels. Another hundred have already returned to France and are being monitored by counter-terrorist services. Le Monde reports that the number of Europeans who are leaving to fight or who are already in combat totals more than two thousand.
The EU’s Ministry of the Interior has issued a declaration in which the leaders of the G7 summit promise to boost their efforts. The statement declared that there is a “realization of what has been happening for more than a year and a half.” The Ministry spoke of the possible threat of soldiers returning to Europe who were “indoctrinated and trained on the battlefield.”
One British source claims that meetings between leaders of the G7 summit would allow the EU to evaluate what each state can offer in terms of resources and expertise. The summit may additionally lead to the EU’s cooperation with states bordering Syria, which could allow the states to monitor the financing of terrorist networks.
The statement by the Ministry of the Interior also denounced the “sham election of June 3” in which president Bachar Al-Assad was re-elected. It warned, “There is no future for Assad in Syria.” This reaffirmed the Geneva report which called for a transitional government to be established.