Hariri from Moscow: Assad Regime Hampering Political Process

A delegation from the Syrian Negotiations Commission headed by Nasr al-Hariri met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow and discussed with him the future of the political process and the importance of launching the work of the constitutional committee. Both sides also discussed the situation in Idlib following the Turkish-Russian agreement which averted a regime offensive in the province.

In a press conference on Friday, Hariri expressed hope that the meeting with Lavrov would be an “effective and productive” turning point in the efforts to reach a political solution meeting the aspirations of the Syrian people. He stressed that Bashar al-Assad’s survival of power is unacceptable as he is responsible for the destruction of the country and the killing of many of civilians.

Hariri reviewed the course of the Syrian revolution since the start of peaceful demonstrations and how the Assad regime forced civilians to take up arms thus destroying the country and committing the most heinous crimes reaching up to the forced settlement agreements.

Hariri said that political process stalled because of the intransigence of the Assad regime and its rejection of the implementation of international resolutions. He pointed out that the Assad regime continues to put obstacles in front of the steps taken to reach a political solution through the setting of preconditions. He noted that among those conditions are the regime’s insistence on having a majority in the constitutional committee as well as the chairmanship and the unanimous decisions. He said that this would risk disrupting the political process at the beginning or in the middle.

The Assad regime is seeking to make the task of constitutional committee the introduction of constitutional amendments rather than the drafting of a new constitution, Hariri said. He added that the Assad regime refused to convene a constitutional committee under the auspices of the United Nations for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254.

Hariri underscored the need to implement the UN resolutions on Syria. “Any credible political process must be balanced and consistent with the UN Security Council resolutions and the Geneva Communique of 2012. This constitutional committee, therefore, should not be separate from the implementation of resolution 2254 but rather one of the steps in the desired process of political transition stipulated by UN Security Council resolutions.”

Hariri also stressed the need to “go to a clear road map and a clear timetable as was defined by the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254 to reach a political solution.”

Moreover, Hariri talked about the Iranian presence in Syria, noting that there are more than 120 areas in Syria under Iranian control. “There are about 123 areas that are under the control of Iranian forces which established military bases in these areas which were previously under the control of the armed opposition. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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