Senator Dan Coats

Coats: Create Safe Zones In and Near Syria

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke on the Senate floor this week and reiterated his call for the establishment of safe zones around Syria for refugees fleeing the country’s civil war.

“Each day, this migration crisis grows worse,” said Coats. “Efforts by the European Union have so far failed even to slow down the flow of refugees and migrants. These repeated failures are threatening to break the European Union apart as each member country resorts to a ‘fortress Europe’ mentality, enforced by national means.”

Coats urged North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations to come together with the United States, Russia and Islamic countries bordering Syria to create safe zones for refugees. Coats said the safe zones would function in a similar way to those created during the Bosnian war and would be protected by a United Nations force and no-fly zones.

“The time has now come for us to press vigorously for this safe area solution to the migrant crisis,” said Coats. “The problem is growing far worse with each passing month. Efforts to identify other solutions have failed, and the safe area proposal is the only one left standing. Those who are discouraged by the admitted obstacles and great difficulties in pursuing this solution must simply be persuaded to take it up with creativity, determination, courage and leadership.”  

Coats said he has discussed the proposal with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Supreme Allied Commander and NATO Commander General Phillip Breedlove and senior European leaders.

Click here to watch Coats speak on the Senate floor.

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