Reconstruction, al-Assad and sanctions
Difficult questions of if, when and how to begin with reconstruction were also raised with some arguing basic relief work was needed to make Syria liveable for those who remain.
Complicating those questions were European divisions over whether reconstruction would involve the Syrian president, and how aid might get around existing sanctions on his regime. The EU refuses to help rebuild Syria until a political settlement has been reached.
No Syrian government or opposition representatives were invited to the event but civil society groups voiced concerns over pressure from donor countries for refugees to return.
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