Coalition News
12 August 2017 In Coalition News

The first batch of intending Syrian pilgrims flew to Saudi Arabia from Gaziantep, Turkey on Saturday. The hajj journey is being supervised by the Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee which has assumed this task over the past five years.

A total of 180 intending Syrian pilgrims flew off to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia on Saturday. The second batch, numbering 180 persons, is scheduled to depart Turkey on Sunday.

Earlier this week, the Committee said that a total of 15,000 Syrian nationals will arrive in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj coming mainly from Syria and neighboring countries as well as Qatar, Egypt, the UAE, and Kuwait.

Rights group estimate that over 14 million Syrians have been displaced inside and outside the country as a result of the Assad regime’s military campaigns on the liberated areas.

All visas for hajj were exclusively obtained through the offices of the Committee in coordination with the Saudi embassies and consulates in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey under an agreement concluded with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj.

The Committee has opened several offices in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and northern Syria as well as branch offices in the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait. The offices provide services to Syrian pilgrims and manage their affairs while performing hajj. Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

12 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s political committee on Friday held a teleconference with Quneitra provincial council to discuss the latest field and political developments.

The Coalition’s Secretary-General Nazir Hakim stressed that Quneitra has always been “a firm bulwark against the Assad regime and the occupation entity." He reasserted the council members that that the Coalition "will not leave you at any moment alone in the battle."

"We salute the steadfastness being shown by our people in Quneitra," Hakim said, adding that the rebel groups in the province “have made significant gains against the Assad regime forces.”

“We will work with our brothers in Dara’a province to ensure that you close ranks and work hand in hand. We will also communicate with all active players to stand by our brothers in Quneitra," Hakim added.

For their part, representatives of the provincial council indicated that they supported the ceasefire agreement reached recently in southern Syria provided that it covers all Syrian territory. They stressed that they are committed to the integrity of the Syrian territory as they warned of attempts by the Assad regime to exploit the de-escalation agreements to redeploy its forces to other rebel-held areas.

The representatives reiterated calls for the release of detainees and for sticking to the guiding principles of the Syrian revolution, including most importantly the overthrow of the Assad regime.

Quneitra province suffers severe shortages of food and medical supplies as no relief aid arrives in the province, the representatives said. They pointed out that “the Zionist entity contributes to siege the Assad regime imposes on large areas in the province.”

Representatives of the council called for the urgent introduction of relief aid to the province, noting that “not single food basket has been delivered to the province over the past four years.” The infrastructure in the region "is in a very poor condition,” they added.

Members of the provincial council confirmed they are ready to work with all FSA and rebel groups in the south to "achieve victory over the Assad regime.” They emphasized that they are “an integral part of Syria as we seek to build a civil state based on justice and equal citizenship.” They stressed they see in the Syrian Coalition a political umbrella for the council. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

11 August 2017 In Coalition News

Protestors in the liberated areas renewed their demands for the departure of the Assad regime along with all its symbols and pillars as well as for the withdrawal of Qaeda from Syria.

Syrian civilians renewed their demands in demonstrations that swept across the liberated areas on Friday.

Demonstrators in the town of Sarqeb in rural Idlib held placards reading "revolution until victory" and “we will bring Assad down no matter how long it takes.”

The town of Maarat al-Nu'man in rural Idlib witnessed the biggest demonstrations against the Assad regime and Al-Nusra Front, the Qaeda franchise in Syria. Demonstrators raised placards denouncing Bashar al-Assad and Al-Nusra Front.

In rural Aleppo, civilians took to the streets of the towns of Al-Bab and Biza’a, renewing calls for the toppling of the Assad regime. Protestors also condemned the practices of Haiyat Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) in the liberated areas, including the detention and mistreatment of civilians and activists as well as the targeting of the Free Syrian Army groups.

Demonstrators in the town of Biza’a called on the Free Syrian Army groups to unify and oust the terrorist militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from northern rural Aleppo.

More demonstrations also were recorded in Dara’a province and eastern Ghouta in Rural Damascus. Protestors called for the immediate release of the detainees and the disclosing the fate of the forcibly disappeared under the Assad regime. They also reaffirmed their rights to freedom and dignity by overthrowing the Assad regime and its symbols.

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 on Thursday, 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." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media + Agencies)

11 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition on Friday concluded the participatory policy-making program it developed for the areas of education, health and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

The Coalition representatives in the Turkish city of Gaziantep participated in the final session of the workshop, which included a series of sub-workshops aimed at examining these three areas and coming up with practical suggestions to improve the conditions of work in these areas.

The final session of the workshop saw the participation of representatives of friendly countries, the United Nations, and international donors. The Coalition’s Secretary-General Nazir Hakim, ministers of health and education in the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), Director of International Cooperation, and Director of the Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) also participated in the final sub-workshop.

The meeting reviewed the policy papers which were laid out to address the three areas. The papers were the outcome of a series of workshops that were held over a span of several months with the participation of SIG, civil society organizations as well as local and foreign experts and researchers.

Participants discussed the implementation of these policies in order of priority as well as produced many policy documents that were presented and promoted during the final workshop.

Participants expressed their determination to effectively implement these participatory policies and implement the outputs of these workshops with the aim of serving all citizens across Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

10 August 2017 In Coalition News

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)

10 August 2017 In Coalition News

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)

09 August 2017 In Coalition News

The Syrian Coalition’s Supreme Hajj Committee said that the first batch of Syrian pilgrims would arrive in Saudi Arabia next week. The Committee has been supervising the services and procedures of hajj by Syrian pilgrims for the past five years.

The Committee’s media officer Abdel Rahman Nahlawi said that Syrian pilgrims would arrive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia coming from several countries. Rights group estimate that over 13 million Syrians have been displaced inside and outside the country as a result of the Assad regime’s military campaigns on the liberated areas.

Nahlawi pointed out that the Supreme Hajj Committee has opened several offices in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and northern Syria as well as branch offices in the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait. The offices provide services to Syrian pilgrims and manage their affairs while performing hajj.

The first group of Syrian pilgrims will arrive in Saudi Arabia coming from Turkey on August 12, Nahlawi said. He pointed out that a total of 15,000 Syrian nationals will arrive in Saudi Arabia to perform hajj coming mainly from Syria and neighboring countries as well as Qatar, Egypt, the UAE, and Kuwait.

Nahlawi went on to say that all visas for hajj were exclusively obtained through the offices of the Committee in coordination with the Saudi embassies and consulates in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey under an agreement concluded with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

09 August 2017 In Coalition News

An official delegation of the Syrian Coalition on Tuesday arrived in Saudi Arabia in a two-day visit to the Kingdom.

The delegation is headed by Riad Saif, President of the Syrian and includes head of the Syrian Interim Government Jawad Abu Hatab, head of the opposition’s negotiating 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.

The delegation is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and a number of Saudi officials.

The visit is of exceptional importance given the Kingdom's important role in supporting the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution at the political and humanitarian levels. The visit comes amid efforts to hold a new conference of the Syrian opposition and revolution forces in the Saudi capital Riyadh in October 2017. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

08 August 2017 In Coalition News

An official in the Syrian Coalition stressed that any de-escalation agreement must cover all Syrian territory, adding that such agreements must be reached in parallel with progress in the political solution to prevent the Assad regime from exploiting these agreements to achieve military gains.

Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan said that a comprehensive cease-fire "has always one of the Syrian people’s main demands.” He added that the Assad regime “still insists on pursuing a military solution to crush the Syrian revolution."

Farhan pointed out that the Coalition "realizes that any cease-fire must be comprehensive and cover the entire Syrian territory to prevent the Assad regime from exploiting these agreements to re-group its forces and deploy them to attack a specific area. He pointed out that these agreements must be reached in parallel with progress in the transitional process so that disengagement lines are not turned into boundaries affecting the unity of Syria on the long run.”

Farhan reaffirmed the Coalition is keen on the success of all ceasefire agreements, but warned of localized ceasefire agreements. The fact that Russia, Assad’s staunchest ally, is the sole sponsor, guarantor, and observer of these agreements raises question about their feasibility, he added.

Moscow is trying to rehabilitee the Assad regime in the liberated areas through supporting partial, localized de-escalation agreements that are aimed at derailing the political process in Geneva, Farhan stressed. He noted that Russia is exploiting the dire humanitarian conditions of civilians in the liberated areas to force them to agree to these agreements. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

08 August 2017 In Coalition News

Riad Hijab, General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), reiterated the Syrian opposition’s firm commitment to the goals and guiding principles of the revolution, stressing that toppling the Assad regime "is a necessity, not an option." He said that the HNC is not authorized to waive the demands of the Syrian people.

"The world must realize that what is taking place in Syria is not a struggle for power, but a popular uprising against tyranny," said Hijab during a teleconference with representatives of the local councils and leaders of the revolutionary movement in Dara’a province.

"The current situation in Syria is the result of the failure of the current regime to effectively administer the affairs of the country," Hijab added.

“We will continue to press the legitimate demands of the Syrian people as we are not authorized to relinquish them. Our legitimacy depends on the extent of our commitment to carry out our duty with the utmost conscientiousness and sincerity.”

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry on Sunday denied media reports that Saudi Arabia was considering a political transition with a first phase in which Assad will stay in power. It said that media reports quoting Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir regarding the fate of Assad are “inaccurate.” 

In a statement released on Sunday, the ministry reiterated commitment to a solution in Syria in accordance with the principles of the Geneva 2012 Communique and UN Security Council Resolution 2254, stressing that Assad should have no place in such a solution or in the future of Syria.

For their part, representatives of the local councils and leaders of the revolutionary movement in Dara’a province reaffirmed firm commitment to the goals and guiding principles of the revolution, most importantly the overthrowing of the Assad regime along with all its symbols and pillars.

They also stressed the need to main Syria’s unity and expressed outright rejection of plans to partition the country. Moreover, the representatives and leaders stressed that the de-escalation zones agreement which has recently been reached in Dara’a must cover all Syrian territory. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)

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