Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission Nasr al-Hariri and an accompanying delegation met French President Emmanuel Macron in the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday.
The visit came as part of a tour the Commission is making of a number of European countries in preparation for the upcoming round of UN-led talks due to be held in the Austrian capital Vienna next week.
During the meeting with the French president, Hariri stressed that the Commission insists on the implementation of international resolutions to bring about real political transition in Syria in line with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Hariri noted that Russia has sought to block all international proposals to find a solution in Syria, including the Sochi conference. He stressed that the setting of preconditions as well as the bombing of cities and towns are undermining the political process and preventing any progress in the peace efforts.
Hariri pointed out that by proposing to hold the Sochi conference, Russia is seeking to achieve what it failed to achieve in the talks held earlier in the Kazakh capital Astana.
The delegation of the Commission is scheduled to meet with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano in Rome on Thursday and will travel to Berlin on Friday.
For his part, French president reaffirmed his country's continued support for the Geneva political process, stressing that the European Union will not contribute to reconstruction efforts in Syria before the start of a transitional phase without Assad. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition, Nazir al-Hakim, stressed that forces of the revolution and its institutions all agree on the demand of the departure of Bashar al-Assad and his clique at the start of the transitional period. He stressed that any party that tries to support or reproduce the Assad regime will be partner in the spread of repressive, extremist ideologies that are based on the curtailment of freedom and the continuation of killings and murder.
Hakim was speaking during a meeting with President of the Union of the Free Syrian Writers, Tawfiq al-Obeid, on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Coalition’s General Secretariat in Istanbul.
Hakim was presented with an honorary shield from the Union of the Free Syrian Writers expressing their appreciation for the moral support the Coalition extends to all institutions of the revolution.
Hakim said that the crimes being committed by the Assad regime and its allied foreign militias cannot be obliterated from history or books, adding that the countries, institutions and people who stood by Assad "cannot be forgotten nor can they erase the ignominy they brought upon themselves.”
Hakim pointed out that the Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) will always stand by all the free institutions that are helping Syrians regain their free decisions and end the Assad regime’s control of all aspects of life in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition announced it condemns announcement by the United States of plans to build a military force in northeastern Syria.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that it “condemns plans by the United States to form a border force in northeastern Syria,” expressing its “rejection of any pretexts or allegations being used to advance such projects.”
The Coalition stressed the importance of efforts to combat terrorism and to counter the ISIS extremist group. “However, fighting terrorism does not justify the use of organizations that commit violations and crimes against the Syrian people,” it said.
“It is not acceptable to place the territories freed from terrorism under the control of the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) or any other organizations whose agendas contradict the goals of the Syrian revolution and those which are linked to the regime and the occupation forces,” the Coalition went on.
The Coalition pointed out that plans announced by Washington must have instead been aimed at focusing on the creation of conditions that force the Assad regime and its backers to respect international resolutions on Syria.
“The continued ignoring of the urgent requirements for reaching a political solution, and the continued blocking of supplies for the Free Syrian Army, coupled with supporting and arming other forces with non-national projects as well as working to carry out such illegal and unacceptable plans have revealed an opportunistic policy exploiting the current circumstances to create more problems instead of exerting pressure on the Assad regime and its supporters to abide by international resolutions.”
The Coalition underscored that “all attempts to impose any kind of projects or solutions that threaten to divide Syria are all doomed to failure, not to mention they risk fueling the conflict and increasing the suffering of millions of Syrians.”
The Coalition concluded the press release by stressing that “events that have occurred over the past few years as well as the enormous sacrifices being made by the Syrian people and their commitment to the principles of the revolution have shown that no party will be able to make any steps or implement any projects on the ground against the will of the Syrian people who will continue their struggle for freedom, dignity and justice.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian opposition Negotiations Commission Nasr Al-Hariri spoke in front of the British Parliament about the Syrian issue and its latest developments on Tuesday. He stressed the important role of the United Kingdom and the European Union in exerting pressure on Russia and Iran to force the Assad regime to abide by international resolutions on Syria.
Hariri and an accompanying delegation also met Alistair Burt, UK Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with Christian Turner, Deputy National Security Adviser in the British capital on Tuesday.
The two sides discussed the role of Britain in the group of friends of Syria and ways of activating the role of the group through the member states’ use of their influence to push the political process forward in order to bring about a solution in Syria in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Britain reiterated its support for the Commission and its efforts to reach a solution to the conflict in Syria. It stressed the need to reach a political settlement in order to ease the suffering of the Syrian people through a real transitional process in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Spokeswoman for the UK Foreign Office Rose Griffiths said: "The visit by the Syrian opposition Negotiations Commission is part of the UK's efforts to work with Syrians and international partners to support a political solution to the conflict in Syria."
"The Syrian opposition Negotiations Commission is an important partner in these efforts because of its credibility and excellent rapport with the Syrian people in addition to its strong commitment to help end the suffering of the Syrian people."
Griffiths went on: "We agree with the Syrian opposition that the only way to reach a sustainable solution in Syria is through a genuine political transitional process in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. We support the UN-led Geneva process to achieve this goal as we call on all parties to make the process a success through the demonstration of pragmatism and flexibility."
Griffiths also stressed that “the Commission has seriously engaged in the negotiating process in good faith and without preconditions." She noted that a successful negotiating process needs two sides, but the Assad regime continues to block efforts to reach a political solution especially through his refusal to engage in direct negotiations.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly concluded its 37th regular meeting on Sunday. It strongly condemned the brutal massacres being committed by the Assad regime and its allies against Syrian civilians.
The General Assembly stressed the need for the international community to urgently intervene to stop the brutal attacks on Syrian civilians, especially in Idlib, Hama and eastern Ghouta. Members of the Assembly agreed to communicate with the concerned countries to ensure the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement as the starting point for reaching any political solution.
The members reaffirmed commitment to the UN-led Geneva negotiations as the natural track for a political solution. It stressed it will continue efforts with the international organizations and other parties, especially the United States, to assume their hoped-for role in exerting pressure on the Assad regime to force it to abide by international resolutions on Syria and initiate the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) and a transitional phase as well as the institutions that will emerge from them.
After extensive discussions, the General Assembly reaffirmed support for the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) as part of the Coalition and its executive arm inside Syrian territory. It stressed it will continue to seek support and funding for SIG from friendly countries and other donors. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, headed by Nasr Hariri, on Monday met with the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and with Head of the Middle East Unit in the European Commission Michael Miller.
The meetings came as part of a visit by the Commission to the European Union. The two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria, especially with regards to the humanitarian aspect.
Both sides stressed that the Assad regime should not be allowed to take on the distribution of EU aid deliveries inside Syria and the need to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need and in besieged areas.
Hariri urged the European Union representative to convey the details of the suffering of Syrian civilians as a result of bombing and siege by the Assad regime, Russia and the Iranian militias to the EU member states. He also urged the EU to take the necessary measures to put an end to the atrocities being committed by the Assad regime and its allies against the Syrian people.
Mogherini stressed that the EU sanctions on the Assad regime will not be lifted before political transition in Syria is achieved and UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 are fully implemented. She recommended the participation of civil society groups in the Brussels conference due to be held in April. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Negotiations Commission accused the Assad regime of assassinating Mounir Darwish, one of its members as it called on the UN and human rights organizations to conduct an international investigation into the incident.
The Commission said in a statement that Darwish was hit by a car in front of his house in Damascus on Friday evening and was liquidated while he was being hospitalized.
The Commission offered condolences to Darwish’s family as it called on international bodies, particularly the United Nations and human rights organizations, to conduct a transparent investigation into the assassination of Darwish.
The Commission reaffirmed is firm commitment to “our steadfast people inside Syria and in the diaspora” as it stressed it would follow in the footsteps of “our fallen heroes in the struggle to achieve the objectives of the Syrian people in freedom and dignity."
“We hold the tyrannical Assad regime Darwish responsible for the death of Darwish," the Commission added. It called on the Syrian people to “carry on with the struggle to establish a free, safe and democratic country where there is no place for the criminal Assad regime which brought destruction and occupation to Syria."
The 37th meeting of the Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly began in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday.
Members of the General Assembly will convene for two days and will discuss the latest field developments in Syria, especially the heinous massacres being committed against civilians in Idlib province and the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
Tabled for discussions are also the latest political developments, especially the Geneva process and the upcoming new round of negotiations.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Rahman Mustafa said that massacres being committed against Syrian civilians are part of the military strategy being pursued by the Assad regime and its allies to impose a solution contradicting all international resolutions on Syria.
Mustafa called upon the international community, led by the United States, to assume their role in protecting civilians and stopping the daily massacres against them. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian Coalition said that Minister of Health in the Syrian Interim Government Mohammed Firas al-Jundi was injured and his driver, Hussam al-Mandil, was killed in airstrikes on the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'man in rural Idlib on Thursday.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition condemned “the crime of targeting the Minister” and said that the “crime comes in the context of the intensifying onslaughts being carried out by regime forces backed by the Russian occupation forces and the Iranian militias in Idlib province and eastern Ghouta. The onslaughts have left dozens of civilian casualties and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.”
The Coalition said that criminal attack deliberately targeted the Minister and his aids shortly after they came back from carrying out tasks related to their work.
The Coalition extended its “heartfelt condolences to the family of Mandil and all the families who lost their loved ones at the hands of the Assad regime and its backers. We wish the Minister speedy recovery and that he resumes the carrying out of his duties and his role in the service of his countrymen.”
In 2016, SIG’s Minister of Local Administration Ya'qub al-Ammar was killed in a terrorist attack in the town of Inkhil in rural Dara’a during the opening ceremony of a police station. The attack killed 11 another people and injured many others, including Minister of Economy Abudlhakeem Al-Masri. . (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)
An official in the Syrian Coalition stressed that Russia and Iran are not committed to international resolutions on Syria, adding that they are partners in all the crimes the Assad regime is committing against Syrian civilians.
Member of the Coalition’s political committee Okab Yahya said that Moscow is exploiting the inaction of the world community to unilaterally impose its agenda for solution in Syria.
Okab was speaking during a meeting that was co-organized by the Parties Committee and the Coalition’s representation office in the Turkish city of Mersin with Syrian political bodies. Around 40 people attended the meeting.
Member of the Coalition, Fadi Ibrahim, gave an overview of the Coalition's plans to reach out to the political opposition forces with the aim of working out an appropriate formula that includes the various Syrian activities in Turkey. The plans also include preparations for the holding of extensive consultative meetings paving the way for the holding of an expanded conference of the Syrian revolutionary and opposition forces.
The meeting also discussed the latest political developments and the challenges ahead. Tabled for discussions was also the eighth round of negotiations in Geneva and their outcome as well as the performance of the Syrian Negotiations Commission and its efforts to lay out unanimous positions and attitudes.
At the end of the meeting, participants agreed on the formation of a seven-member committee whose task will be to consult with the Coalition’s political committee about all the political and field developments. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)