Syrian Coalition Calls for Protecting Civilians & Reviving Political Process in Meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif urged the United States to step up efforts to revive the political process within the framework of the Geneva negotiations. Seif emphasized the friendly countries’ responsibilities to ensure protection for the Syrian people.
Seif made these remarks during a meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Ratney at the Coalition’s headquarters in Istanbul on Friday. The meeting was also attended by member of the Coalition’s political committee Hadi al-Bahra.
Seif presented his guest with two memoranda on the war crimes being committed against civilians in Deir Ezzor province resulting in mass exodus of civilians from several areas in the province as well as on the rising civilian casualties as a result of the aerial bombardments targeting civilian areas in the province.
The memoranda highlighted the crimes being committed against civilians in Raqqa by militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the death of dozens of innocent civilian as a result of the continued aerial bombardment by the international anti-ISIS coalition in the province. The two memoranda called on the US-led coalition to assume its responsibility to ensure that civilians are spared, their needs are met, investigations into violations are conducted, and necessary steps are taken to put an end to these violations.
The two memoranda also stressed the need to supply the FSA Ossoud Al-Sharqiya and Ahmad Al-Abdu FSA groups with the necessary means so that they actively participate in the liberation of Deir Ezzor and to ensure that they are not targeted by regime forces and their allies.
Seif underscored that "any political settlement in Syria that fails to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people for which they made enormous sacrifices cannot restore stability."
A lasting political settlement can only be reached through holding criminals accountable and the release of detainees, Seif stressed. Any settlement should lead to a radical, comprehensive political transition and allow the Syrian people to draft a new constitution and freely elect their leaders, he added. “The future of Syria cannot be left to hinge on the murderous Assad regime.”
Seif pointed out that a lasting, viable political solution cannot be reached as long as Bashar al-Assad survives in power. He noted that this issue prevents progress in negotiations and remains as an obstacle to the restoration of stability to the region.
For his part, Hadi al-Bahra said that the Syrian Coalition demands and seeks an end to the bloodshed as it encourages all proposals made for this end. He stressed that such proposals must not ignore the demands of the Syrian people and their aspirations towards restoring their human, political and constitutional rights. Such proposals must not reduce the cause of the Syrian people into issues related to the securing of livelihood. Partial solutions cannot last, achieve victory over terrorism, or restore stability, Bahra stressed. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)