The implementation of international resolutions calling for bringing about a political transition in Syria is only achievable through the departure of Bashar Assad and the pillars of his regime, said Nasr al-Hariri, head of the delegation of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) to Geneva talks.
In an interview with the New Arab newspaper, Hariri said that a political transition "cannot take place with the presence of a criminal like Bashar al-Assad.” He stressed that “to say that we entered the stage of political transition, the head of the regime and its symbols must step aside in the beginning of the transitional period."
The Syrian people did not consult with anybody when they rose up against the Assad regime, nor did they wait for instructions when the revolution broke out, Hariri added. "The Syrian people, having made enormous sacrifices, will not accept the survival of Bashar al-Assad. This position must not be understood as political posturing as the Syrian people have a lot of reasons to insist on Assad’s departure,” Hariri added.
Hariri went on to say that it is impossible to establish a new social contract in Syria in the presence of a criminal who is responsible for the death of at least half a million people. He stressed that Assad’s survival will complicate efforts to rebuild state institutions, including the army, security agencies, and services institutions.
In addition to Assad’s departure, there are a set other fundamental principles such as “the restructuring of the armed forces and security apparatuses, the withdrawal of foreign militias, the imposition of arms control and making all weapons in the hand of the state, and the establishment of a democratic civil state based on the rule of law.”
Hariri said that these are the guiding principles of the Syrian opposition and the basis of any possible dialogue with the Cairo and Moscow platforms. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation of the Syrian Coalition on Wednesday met with senior officials in the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh for talks on various issues related to the Syrian crisis.
Both sides discussed the latest political and field developments in Syria, the Geneva process, the role of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) in this process, and the importance of Arab support for the settlement process. They also discussed coordination among the forces of the Syrian opposition and the Coalition’s role as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in making this process a success.
Adel bin Siraj Mirdad, Undersecretary of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political and Economic Affairs, stressed the Coalition’s pivotal role as having the political legitimacy that entitles it to provide services to the civilian population via the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and establish political alliances should a settlement is reached and a transitional period in Syria is initiated.
Mirdad also stressed the important role of the Coalition, one of the HNC’s main components, in supporting the HNC in carrying out is primary task of managing the negotiating process in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the relevant Security Council resolutions, most importantly UNSC resolution 2254. The two sides also stressed the complemenatry roles of the HNC and the Syrian Coalition.
President of the Syrian Coalition, Riad Saif, spoke about the role being played by SIG and the local councils in strengthening stability in the liberated areas and the rehabilitation of public institutions to provide services to the local population. He also talked about the Coalition’s ongoing efforts to initiate a comprehensive national dialogue; reach out to all sectors and organizations of the Syrian society; and discuss the Geneva process and the challenges facing it as well as ways to push the process forward.
Moreover, tabled for discussions were the HNC’s responsibilities, the task that it will continue to carry out, and ways to support the HNC to rise to the present and future challenges it is facing.
The two sides stressed that the primary motivation for work in the time being is to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people and to push for a genuine transition towards a civil, democratic, pluralistic system of rule that is based on equal citizenship in terms of the rights and duties without Bashar Al-Assad and his clique.
The Coalition’s delegation stressed the need to draw lessons from all the experiences, especially from those of Yemen, Tunisia, among other countries. It stressed that a transitional period will not see success should the causes that led to the revolution in Syria remain unaddressed.
The delegation also underscored that the Syrian people are the primary stakeholders in the elimination of terrorism, the fight against which must be led by the Syrian people themselves on the Syrian territory. It also stressed the need for protection of innocent civilians and sustained support for them as they are the pillar of the peaceful civil movement.
Headed by President Riad Saif, the Coalition’s delegation included SIG’s head Jawad Abu Hatab, head of the HNC’s delegation to Geneva Nasr Hariri, Vice-presidents Abdulrahman Mustafa and Abdelbaset Hamo, and members of the Coalition’s political committee Ahmed Sayed Youssef and Hadi Bahra.
In addition to Mr. Mirdad, the Saudi side in the meeting included Ambassador Said Othman Sweid, Director General of the General Administration of Arab States, and Mr. Ahmed Al-Sheikh. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)