President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif and members of the political committee met with Under Secretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Ümit Yalçın and Deputy Undersecretary for the Middle East and North Africa Mustafa Yurdakul in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday.
Seif stressed that a transition process will not be successful if it is not led by a leadership that shows complete belief and commitment to the goals of the Syrian revolution. “It is impossible to accept one who made decisions that led to the death of nearly one million people, the displacement of more than half of the Syrian people, and the detention of hundreds of thousands of people in the transitional period,” Seif said. He stressed that “the Assad regime and its clique cannot be part of any solution.”
Spokesman for the Coalition Hadi Bahra said that the two sides discussed the latest political developments in Syria, particularly the Geneva process "which has so far failed to lead to serious and direct negotiating process and is still stalled in a framework of discussions and consultations between the opposition and the United Nations on the one hand and the United Nations and the Assad regime on the other. Bahra underscored the need to mobilize international efforts to achieve tangible progress in the political process.
Bahra stressed the need for all parties to the Astana meetings to honor their commitments to reduce violence and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need. He praised the positive role being played by Turkey and its efforts to reach a single agreement “that unifies the mechanisms and ensures confidence building measures that are needed to push the Geneva process forward.”
Bahra stressed the Coalition supports the Turkish efforts to reach an agreement in northern Syria that is aimed at finding possible solutions to protect civilians in Idlib province and other areas and ensures sustained access to relief aid in these areas. Bahra emphasized that Syrians are the main stakeholders in the eradication of terrorism and extremism, expressing solidarity with the government and the people of Turkey in their efforts to combat terrorism.
Bahra said that the Coalition’s presented the Turkish FM officials with its vision regarding the efforts the Syrian opposition is making in preparation for the upcoming meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh scheduled for next October. These efforts are aimed at strengthening the position of the Syrian opposition, making assessment of the past period, and making the necessary decisions to improve the performance of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and enhance its role in negotiations.
These steps are needed to achieve the goals and aspirations of the Syrian people through a genuine and comprehensive political transitional process that enables the Syrian people regain their legitimate rights, Bahra said. He added that any transitional process must lead to the establishment of a pluralistic, civil, and democratic system of rule that is based on equality, the rule of law, and principle of equal citizenship in terms of the rights and duties. The Coalition and HNC are seeking to achieve these goals according to fundamental principles that were agreed upon by the revolution and opposition forces in the Riyadh document of 2015.
President Seif stressed the importance of constant coordination with the brothers in Turkey, expressing appreciation for the people and government of Turkey for their continued support for the demands and aspirations of the Syrian people as well as for the Turkish leadership's reaffirming of continued political and other kind of support for the Coalition. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition Nazir Hakim said that the crime that targeted elements of the civil defense in the town of Sarmin in rural Idlib on Saturday has proved that the Syrian revolution is being targeted at all levels. He said that the civil defense’s task is to save civilians away from any political ordinations or goals.
Hakim was speaking during a teleconference that brought together members of the Coalition’s political committee and the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) as well as Deputy Director of the Syrian Civil Defense Munir Mustafa and Executive Director Hussam Hallaq.
The Syrian civil defense plays an active, vital role in all places where it has a presence despite all the enormous difficulties and risks, most notably the bombings by the Assad regime and its allies. Hakim said. He added that the efforts and sacrifices being made by the civil defense workers deserve to be met with heartfelt appreciation and respect.
Member of the political committee Hadi Bahra said that the current circumstances require that all civil and political institutions focus on achieving the overall goals. This will prove “our ability to beat off the political challenges and develop flexible strategies to reach the same goal in front of the international community.”
Deputy Director of the Syrian civil defense Mounir Mustafa stressed the importance of cooperation with all institutions to help achieve the goals of the Syrian revolution and uphold its guiding principles.
Executive Director Hussam Hallaq said that the Syrian civil defense “will carry on with its mission until the corrupt regime is removed," adding that the rescue group would not accept to work with a "criminal" whose crimes are directly affecting the group.
Hallaq pointed to ongoing attempts to discredit the institutions of the Syrian revolution especially in the wake of the attack on the civil defense in Sarmin and other centers. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)