Head of the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee, Nasr al-Hariri, called on the United Nations and the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to declare to the international community that the Assad regime is seeking to sabotage the political process in Geneva.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva following announcement by de Mistura about the end of the eight round of talks in the Swiss city on Thursday, Hariri said that the Geneva talks are in great danger. He said that the international community and the UN Security Council must protect the negotiations process, noting that there is a party which came only with the aim of assassinating political solution.
"We came here because we are convinced that we must bring peace, security and freedom to Syria and Syrians as well as to put an end to tyranny and crime once and for all," Hariri said. "We came to announce from the epicenter of the international community: enough with the killing. Enough with terror!”
Hariri said that over the past three weeks, the Negotiations Committee has engaged very seriously in talks with the United Nations on political transition. He called for direct and unconditional negotiations on the four baskets in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
“The world has clearly seen that we have not found a partner in the Geneva negotiations. There are those who are seeking to assassinate peace and kill the Syrians' dream of freedom on false pretexts that failed to convince the international community.”
Hariri pointed out that while the Geneva 8 negotiations were underway, the Assad regime was dropping barrel bombs on eastern Ghouta. He noted that the Assad regime dropped a total of 500 barrel bombs on eastern Ghouta during the month of November amid a tightened siege and the blocking of food and medical supplies.
Hariri emphasized that the opposition’s Negotiations Committee will remain committed to working for freedom and peace in Syria as well as for a comprehensive political solution in accordance with international resolutions in which there is no place for war criminals, corruption, tyranny and crime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Al Arabiya)
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Rahman Mustafa said that the Assad regime’s obstruction of negotiations is aimed at preventing the launch of a political transition in Syria as was stipulated in international resolutions on Syria, especially the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Mustafa, who is in Geneva for the latest round of UN-sponsored talks, said that the delegation of the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee discussed political transition, one of the four baskets on the agenda of talks, with the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on Thursday. Mustafa stressed that the implementation of political transition is the most feasible way to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Mustafa, who is member of the Committee, said that the Committee is still ready to enter into direct negotiations with the Assad regime, stressing that forcing the Assad regime into the negotiations table is the responsibility of the United Nations. He noted that the holding of direct negotiations would push the political process forward.
Meanwhile, de Mistura urged Russia on Wednesday to convince its ally the Assad regime of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the nearly seven-year-old war.
De Mistura, speaking on Swiss television station RTS, said that “the government is not ready, it has said it is not ready to meet the opposition. That is regrettable but diplomacy has many means.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Nasr al-Hariri, Head of the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee, expressed his disappointment over the failure of the international community to relive civilians in Syria, especially children who are trapped in the besieged eastern Ghouta in the Damascus suburbs. The rebel-held area has been subjected to tightened siege by the Assad regime and its allies. Hundreds of the wounded and sick need to be urgently evacuated, according to the latest report by the World Health Organization.
In an event held on the sidelines of the negotiations in Geneva on Wednesday with the presence of a large number of ambassadors and diplomats, Hariri addressed the international community: “What a disappointment! What a shock and what a tragedy! He wondered whether the international community is helpless and unable to deliver bread and milk to eastern Ghouta?
"I hope the ambassadors will send a message that is different from all the official messages," he said. "It is time that the international community relieve the Syrian people. We should not leave millions of Syrians hostages to the Assad regime and its allies who are testing their new weapons in attacks on the Syrian people.”
Deputy Head of the Committee Khalid Al-Mahamid said that the exact scenario that took place in Wa'ar neighborhood in Homs, the Damascus suburb of Daraya and in many areas across Syria is being repeated in eastern Ghouta. He stressed that "the weapon of starvation has never been used since the Middle Ages.” He said that the Committee called for “the opening of safe passages. Were do not want relief aid but we want safe passages for the delivery of food.”
Member of the Committee Issa Ibrahim said: "We are paying a heavy price because a gang has taken over the state and the authority and because of the international community's inaction.”
Member of the Committee’s delegation, Firas al-Khalidi, praised the steadfastness being shown by people of eastern Ghouta. “We learned from eastern Ghouta that their steadfastness has exposed the true nature of the world and human rights. The revolution will continue and our strength is that we represent what is right.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif and members of the political committee met with the official in charge of the Syrian file in the Turkish Foreign Ministry Mustafa Yurdakul who quit his position as he was appointed as Turkey’s ambassador to Pakistan.
Members of the political committee expressed their sincere thanks to Yurdakul and his distinguished role in the past period.
Yurdakul stressed that the tragedy in Syria and the suffering the Syrian people have so far endured are unprecedented in recent history. He noted that Turkey’s primary goal is to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people who have been subjected to unspeakable suffering for the past few years.
Yurdakul pointed out that during the years of the Syrian revolution they learned how to deal with crises. He noted that Turkey worked with the Syrian Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government in order to beat off challenges, adding that his country will continue to work with the Coalition.
Yurdakul added that Turkey still sees the Geneva process as the priority for reaching a political solution, He stressed that over the past a half years, Turkey has made great efforts to push the political process forward and will continue to support the Geneva process to reach a political solution and put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Moreover, Yurdakul pointed out that pressure must be exerted on the Assad regime to agree to a political solution. He said that Turkey is actively seeking to force the Assad regime to accept a political solution through Russia which can exert pressure on the regime as it has much leverage on the regime.
For his part, President Seif talked about the brotherly relationship between the Syrian and Turkish peoples. He noted that the relationship between the Syria people and Turkey is different from its relationship with the rest of the countries as the two peoples share the same culture and interests. He said that the Syrian people see in Iran an enemy, adding that Russia prolonged the life of Bashar al-Assad and his murderous regime.
The Coalition’s Secretary-General, the Vice-President and members of the political committee asked for clarifications about the perception of the Turkish brothers of the Sochi meeting which was proposed by Russia. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition stressed that the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) is the only executive body that has the legitimacy to operate on Syrian territory.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that SIG provides services for all Syrians in all liberated and besieged areas as well as provides services and facilitations to thousands of students in schools and universities. SIG also provides services in the areas of health and agriculture through its directorates, bodies and officials based in Syria, the Coalition added.
The Coalition underscored that the order issued by the so-called Salvation Government is unacceptable and illegitimate as it was issued by an illegitimate body. It added that the order also represented a violation and a dangerous precedent.
“The persons and parties who are behind it, in addition to Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, bear full responsibility for any damage or harm that may be caused to SIG’s offices inside Syria.”
The Coalition affirmed that “SIG will continue to carry out its tasks and will prosecute those responsible for causing harm to any of its institutions by legal means.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Spokesman for the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee, Yahya Aridi, said that the Committee’s delegation came to Geneva to make peace in Syria in accordance with international resolutions. He stressed that the implantation of UN resolutions is key to the safe return the displaced people and refugees to their homes.
"Our goal is to make peace and restore security so that the Syrian people can return safely to their homes and feel that they have the right to freedom and dignity as well as to rebuild their homeland and bring it back to life," Aridi said in a brief statement before entering the UN building to meet the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura and his team. “We came here to achieve this goal, and we are ready to go everywhere to achieve it.”
Aridi went on: "We came here so that Syrians can feel safe. Our goal is clear. We are firmly committed to international resolutions which talked about a political transition process in which Syrians can express their will to freely choose their leaders, which is their natural right.”
Aridi called for the lifting of the siege imposed on the people of eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus. “The people of eastern Ghouta deserve to live without siege. We demand the evacuation of children who are only 10 kilometers away from hospitals, which is also their natural right." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif participated in the conference called by the Supreme Council of Syrian Tribes on Monday.
The conference was held under the title: “Syrian tribes are a guarantor of the integrity of the Syrian national fabric, stability and the return of the displaced and refugees." In a speech he delivered during the meeting, Seif said that the Syrian tribes are an integral component of the Syrian society.
Seif highlighted the important role of Syrian tribes in confronting terrorist organizations and the sectarian militias supporting the Assad regime. He said that Syrian tribes have made enormous sacrifices defending the Syrian revolution and its goals, most importantly the departure of Bashar al-Assad and the symbols and pillars of his regime and the establishment of a civil, democratic state that is free from corruption, oppression, and terror.
Seif pointed out that from the moment it seized power, the Assad regime has sought to excluded Syria’s tribal leaders by preventing them from playing a constructive role among the Syrian people with the aim of subverting society and undermining its social and moral structure.
Seif also talked about the crimes being committed by the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) against Syrian tribes after they seized control of parts of Syria, stressing that these crimes amount to crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Moreover, Seif stressed that Iran is seeking to bring about a demographic change in the region through the displacement of the Syrian people and changing their beliefs. He added that Tehran wants to take Syria hostage as it did in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon under the slogan of resisting the Israeli entity. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Deputy Head of the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee Hanadi Abu Arab held videoconferences with representatives of local and civil bodies in Hama and Idlib provinces as well as with women from rural Idlib.
Abu Arab stressed that the Committee’s delegation stood ready for direct negotiations with the Assad regime on Monday, adding that political transition would be discussed in those negotiations.
Abu Arab called upon the United Nations and its team to clearly and openly name the party that impedes negotiations and the implementation of international resolutions on Syria, most notably UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Abu Arab pointed out that Syrian women are well represented in the Committee and are doing an excellent job, adding that the role of women in the Syrian society needs to be activated.
"I am happy with the work being done by Syrian women in the liberated areas, especially in the town of Kafranbel in rural Idlib," Abu Arab added. "It is an achievement that must be highlighted at the local and international level." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian opposition Negotiations Committee’s delegation to Geneva talks Hadi al-Bahra said that the goal of the negotiations is to implement the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. He warned that the UN’s failure to deliver the other party to direct negotiations would derail the course of the political process.
In a teleconference with representatives of the Syrian community in the United States, Bahra pointed out that the performance of the Negotiations Committee’s delegation reflected reasonable harmony between components of the Committee and impressed some observers. All members of the Committee’s delegation emphasized the need to bring about political transition and radical change in Syria.
Member of the delegation, Yusuf Salman, said: "The negotiating delegation is working as a homogeneous team. We have no differences as all opinions are focused on the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254 as well as the relevant international resolutions.”
Salman said that direct negotiations are the most feasible way to discuss all issues, stressing that the Negotiations Committee will spare no effort to push the political process forward.
"We are keen on putting an end to the bloodshed and we will work tirelessly to put an end to the ongoing tragedy in Syria," Salman added. He maintained that the best way to achieve this is to reach a political solution.
Member of the delegation, Firas al-Khalidi, said that some were betting on the failure of the delegation or that it will waive the fundamental principles of the Syrian revolution. "We have sent a crystal clear message that we represent the will of all spectra of the Syrian people and defend their principles and aspirations.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee called on the United Nations and international organizations to intervene urgently to relieve Syrian refugees in refugee camps in and around the town of Arsal in eastern Lebanon who are suffering dire conditions with the onset of winter.
Members of the Committee held a teleconference with representative of the Syrian Coalition in Lebanon Abdul Rahman Akkari, director of one of the camps in Arsal, and Head of the delegation of the Committee on Coordination with the Lebanese government Khaled Raad. The teleconference discussed the situation in the Syrian refugees camps in and around the border town.
Akkari and Raad gave a detailed overview of the situation of Syrian refugees in Arsal and Lebanon in general as well as of the urgent needs that need to be met. He pointed out that the refugees are living in difficult conditions due to the severe weather conditions and lack of means of heating.
Fires broke out in a refugee camp in Arsal on Friday after a gas cylinder exploded, killing 10 people, including eight children, and injuring dozens more.
Member of the Negotiations Committee Abdul Rahman Mustafa said that the sole and comprehensive solution to end the suffering of the Syrian people is to bring about a political transition in Syria through the implementation of international resolutions on Syria.
Member of the Committee’s delegation to Geneva Tariq Kurdi expressed hope that the United Nations agencies will urgently relieve refugees in Arsal, pointing out that the delegation will discuss the situation of Syrian refugees in Arsal with the United Nations team in Geneva in order to secure more support for them. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)