President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif said that the preservation of Syria’s unity without Bashar Assad and his clique is the only way to put an end to the continued suffering of the Syrian people.
Seif made his remarks during the opening speech he delivered at the third meeting of the General Assembly of the Syrian Islamic Council. He stressed that the interest of the Syrian people today is to preserve the unity of Syria and prevent division as well as the establishment of a democratic system of rule in which all citizens are equal before the law.
Seif called on everyone to work to raise awareness of the importance of tolerance among all Syrians and the need for people of different faiths and cultures to accept each other and work together to get rid of tyranny and regain freedom and dignity.
Seif vehemently denied reports being circulated about the opposition accepting the survival of Bashar al-Assad in a transitional period and the future of Syria, stressing that Assad’s survival in power will only lead to further killing and destruction.
Seif underscored that the Assad regime must be held accountable for the killing and displacement of millions of Syrians and for committing war crimes against the Syrian people. He rejected attempts to work with the regime or to rehabilitate it. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian opposition will not give up the demand for the departure of Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle who committed crimes against the Syrian people, said Riyad Hijab, General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee.
In comments published on Twitter on Sunday, Hijab categorically denied claims made by the Russian envoy to the seventh round of talks that the opposition negotiation delegation made concessions to the Assad regime. Hijab described these claims as unsubstantiated lies that lack credibility.
The Syrian people have very clearly expressed their position on the Assad regime and his clique, Hijab stressed. He added that the opposition’s HNC does not have the right to waive the Syrian people’s basic demands.
In an interview with al-Hayat newspaper on Sunday, Hijab warned that Assad remaining in power risks exacerbating chaos solidifying the role of terrorist organizations and causing more sectarian militias to be brought to Syria. Furthermore, Hijab emphasized that the survival of Assad would fuel sectarian tensions and hatred, especially that Assad lost legitimacy after he has been proven responsible for the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.
Hijab pointed out that during his meeting with President Emmanuel Macaron, Hijab said that he made it clear that the most effective way to defeat terror and resolve the conflict in Syria is to bring Assad and all those who are involved in violations against the Syrians to justice and ensure that they do not escape punishment.
With regards to the Geneva process, Hejab said that the talks have so far failed to achieve any significant progress. He pointed out that the UN mediation has reached a dead end given the refusal of the Assad regime to negotiate in good faith, its continued violation of international law, its refusal to implement UN resolutions on Syria, and its continued attempts to undermine the efforts of the UN envoy to Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)