The Syrian Coalition’s political committee met with members of the oppositions’ High Negotiations Committee’s (HNC) as well as advisory and media delegations to Geneva 4 talks to discuss preparations for the next round to be held on March 23.
The meeting was held in the headquarters of the Syrian Coalition in Istanbul, Turkey, on 15-16 March.
Secretary of the political committee Riyad Hasan said that the meeting discussed a number of papers, including most notably the agenda of the upcoming round set out by the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.
The papers included issues related to the establishment of a new governing body, the constitution, elections, the fight against terrorism, and confidence-building measures, Hasan added.
Hasan pointed out that the participants laid out their reservations about the "non-paper" presented by de Mistura in the latest round of negotiations.
These preparations came as part of the Coalition’s efforts to support the HNC delegation in order to ensure a comprehensive political transition that meets the Syrian people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition condemned the massacre committed by the Russian air force in the city of Idlib on Wednesday. The Coalition said that this heinous crime was carried out in a blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement, stressing that Russia bears full political and legal responsibility for this crime and for consequences that will follow from it.
Russian jets bombed an apartment building in the district of Qusour using vacuum bombs, causing the building to collapse. The massacre claimed the lives of over 25 civilians, mostly children and women.
The Coalition renewed calls on the UN Security Council and guarantors of the ceasefire agreement to assume their responsibilities to stop these crimes. It said that urgent action needs to be taken to ensure full implementation of the agreement and to hold accountable those who violate it.
The Coalition warned of attempts to exploit the agreement to achieve goals that the Russian aggressors and the Assad regime failed to achieve through other means.
Activists in Idlib said that four Russian airstrikes targeted the residential neighborhoods in the city using vacuum bombs earlier on Thursday, causing civilian casualties and massive damage to civilian homes and shops.
According to daily figures compiled by the Syrian Coalition’s media department, the Russian forces have violated the cease-fire agreement in over 175 occasions since it was announced on December 29, 2016 despite Russia being a guarantor of the agreement along with Turkey. Most of the Russian airstrikes have targeted residential neighborhoods and vital civilian facilities, especially health centers. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)