Monday, 23 March 2020 20:19

SOC Sends Letter Urging European Council Action to Prevent Coronavirus Outbreak in Syria

As part of the campaign the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) has launched in partnership with the Syrian Interim Government and its executive arms in the liberated areas, Coordinator of the Department of Foreign Relations, Abdulhahad Astepho, sent a letter to the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the SOC’s demands from the European Council. The Council will meet today, Monday, with the meeting bringing together foreign ministers of European Union at a teleconference.

Astepho gave an overview of the health and humanitarian situation in Syria, especially in the liberated areas which is going through a humanitarian disaster as a result of the recent onslaught by Russia and the Assad regime which has led to the largest displacement movement since 2011. He also outlined the measures taken by the Syrian Interim Government to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

Astepho said that the risk of the coronavirus outbreak in the liberated areas makes it imperative that the international community and the European Union take swift action to address the dangers facing civilians. He said that the destruction of residential homes forced millions of civilians to live in overcrowded camps or in the open, which makes the isolation process almost impossible.

Moreover, Astepho pointed out that the necessary means to prevent the spread of the pandemic are scarce or almost non-existent after Russia and the Assad regime have destroyed the majority of the medical centers and after donors stopped supporting the medical sector in Idlib province.

The detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime are at the same risk, as the pandemic does not pose a threat to civilians only, Astepho said. He added that the Assad regime's brutality against detainees risk spreading the pandemic among the detainees, especially that the prisons are overcrowded with the detainees.

The letter touched on the political process, as Astepho stressed the need to work for the advancement of a political solution in accordance with the UN resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique of 2012. He warned that the continued inaction in finding a solution will lead to more crises that may affect the European Union countries themselves, citing the latest wave of asylum seekers at the Greek border. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)

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