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Summary: 15 September 2011, Strasbourg - President Assad must step down immediately, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said in a four-hour debate on Wednesday stressing that the Syrian regime lost its legitimacy. MEPs also demanded rapid EU assistance for Libya, to help build democratic institutions, restore public services and re-integrate combatants.
Some MEPs emphasised that the extraction of Libya's gas and oil resources should be managed in a transparent way.
On the Middle East peace process, most MEPs agreed that EU's main aim must be to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table to agree on a two-state solution. However, the House was divided on the possibility of UN recognition ofPalestine. Some MEPs believed a unilateral step would hinder the peace process, while others questioned the term "unilateral" and stressed that the recognition of Palestine could help to boost talks with Israel.
MEPs are to vote on separate resolutions on Libya and Syria on Thursday.