The Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee on Wednesday convened in the Saudi capital of Riyadh to discuss the latest round of talks in Geneva and the establishment of an administrative and executive structures for the Committee.
Khalid Al-Mahamid, Deputy Head of the Committee, said: "The aim of the meetings is to discuss all the issues related to negotiations that were put forward during the latest round of talks.” He added that the Committee will work on the establishment of a cohesive structure and the distribution of tasks by establishing an administrative structure that will serve the Committee’s negotiation strategy.
Mahamid pointed out that the latest round of talks would have produced positive results had it not been for the refusal of the other party to enter into direct negotiations and to engage seriously to reach a political solution that is needed to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Mahamid stressed that the implementation of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254 to bring about full and radical political transition is the most feasible way to restore stability and security to Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Members of the Syrian Opposition’s Negotiations Committee met with representatives of local councils as part of a five-day workshop that concluded in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Monday. The workshop was aimed at promoting cooperation between the local councils and the Negotiations Committee.
Hadi al-Bahra, Abdel-Ilah Fahad, and Tariq al-Kurdi participated in the workshop as members of the Committee put forward a detailed explanation about the outcome of the latest round of negotiations in Geneva.
Al-Fahad pointed out that the negotiating process lacked a serious other side, adding that it was the same side that rejected direct negotiations and insisted on carrying on with the killings, bombing and destruction in various parts of Syria.
Fahad underscored that the implementation of international resolutions and the bringing about of a political transition and radical change in the ruling regime is the most feasible way to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Fahad pointed out that the international community and the United Nations have a responsibility to put the Geneva process back on the right track. This can only by achieved through exercising pressure on the Assad regime and its backers to force the regime to seriously engage in the political process and respect the agenda calling for the formation of a transitional governing body. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian opposition’s Negotiations Committee, Nasr al-Hariri and an accompanying delegation met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Monday.
The two sides stressed that the Geneva process is the only venue for the success of any political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and international resolutions, especially UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254.
Hariri pointed out that the political process still lacks the other side, referring to the delegation of the Assad regime which continues to invent excuses to avoid the implementation of international resolutions aimed at bringing about political transition.
Hariri stressed the need for the international community and United Nations to take serious action to salvage the political process. He emphasized that the Geneva process is in great danger because of the refusal of the Assad regime to engage seriously in negotiations.
Hariri thanked Turkey and the Turkish people for their continued, generous support for the Syrian opposition and the Syrian people’s quest for freedom. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian Coalition, Ruba Habboush, condemned the Russian airstrikes that hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rural Idlib on Sunday, killing and injuring many civilians.
In statement released on Monday, Habboush strongly condemned the targeting of civilians, stressing that such attacks amount to a war crime under international law and international humanitarian law.
Local activists said that the airstrikes killed 10 civilians, all of whom were women and children.
Activists pointed out that Russian jets carried out the airstrikes using internationally banned napalm-filled bombs.
Habboush stressed that it is urgent that the international community enforce international resolutions on Syria, most importantly UN Security Council resolutions 2118 and 2254, which called for a halt to the bombardment, the lifting of sieges, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need. She stressed that stopping the bombardment is key to reaching a political solution.
Russia's repeated attacks against civilians are a kind of military pressure to undermine the Geneva political process, Habboush added, stressing that Moscow bears full responsibility for stalling the political process. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
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)