The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee held its regular meeting in the presence of the Coalition President Anas Al-Abda. The committee discussed the military escalation by the Assad regime and its backers in Idlib and around Idlib, the general situation in the liberated areas, and the progress of the work of the Syrian Interim Government, and the work of the Constitutional Committee.
The meeting began with a presentation of the field report, which included an assessment of the current military situation, reports of war crimes committed by the regime forces and Russia in Idlib province, such as the targeting of civilians, medical facilities and vital centers, as well as the numbers of people displaced by these operations.
President Al-Abda said that the Coalition communicated extensively with friendly countries in the past few days to demand an end to the bombing campaign on Idlib.
President Al-Abda called on the international community to condemn the onslaught on Idlib, which mainly targets civilians.
Members of the political committee also discussed the situation of IDPs in the liberated areas and ways to work with SIG’s Ministry of Local Administration to ensure the representation of IDPs within local councils.
The meeting touched on the results of the first meeting of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva. The Department of External Relations and the Office of Strategic Consulting and Studies were tasked with studying the ideas put forward in the opening sessions and with developing a vision for the outcomes of the work of the Committee.
The committee stressed the importance of the discussion of the rest of the baskets in parallel with the work of the Constitutional Committee, noting that the drafting of a new constitution for the country is not enough to reach a political solution in accordance with UN resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-President of the Syrian National Coalition, Dima Moussa, and Head of the Syrian Interim Government, Abdurrahman Mustafa, participated in a seminar organized by the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research in Turkey under the title ‘stability and reconstruction in Syria.’
Other participants in the event included Head of the Syrian Tribal Council, Rami al-Doush, Head of the Syrian Turkoman Council, Wajih Juma, representative of the Syrian Association for the Dignity of the Citizen Labib Nahas, media activists and researchers, and diplomats from the foreign embassies in Ankara.
Vice-president Moussa talked about the latest developments in the political process, pointing out that the political process stalled because of the Assad regime's refusal to engage in it seriously and its continued military operations against the liberated areas as well as the bombing of residential areas and medical facilities.
With regard to the work of the Constitutional Committee, Moussa said that the Committee is a gateway to a political solution, describing it as an opportunity to test the seriousness of the international community in finding a sustainable solution in Syria through a real political transition.
Moreover, Moussa stressed that this solution must be reached through an inclusive political process in accordance with UN resolutions, which requires the discussion of the rest of the baskets mentioned in UN Security Council resolution 2254 in parallel tracks. She pointed out that this requires a safe, neutral environment and addressing the issue of detainees. Without achieving all of the above, the results of the work of the Constitutional Committee would have no meaning, she added.
For his part, SIG’s Head Mustafa talked about the importance of SIG’s efforts to manage the liberated areas and its consolidation of its vision of civil administration and good governance. He also talked about SIG’s efforts to ensure security and stability as well as providing the best services to the population, especially in the areas of health and education.
Mustafa pointed out that SIG has established judicial institutions with the aim of achieving stability and maintaining order as well as dealing with complaints brought against the members of the armed opposition.
Mustafa also talked about the important results of Operation Peace Spring, noting that the east of the Euphrates region needed decisive intervention. He said that the the implementation of the relevant agreements will pave the way for the development and reconstruction of Syria’s north and building institutions that represent and protect Syrians as well as contribute to supporting a comprehensive political solution.
Further, Mustafa stressed that SIG’s work is important as it complements the work of the Constitutional Committee and the political process in general. He stressed the need to continue to exert international pressure on the Assad regime until reaching a political solution leading to the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254 and to take irreversible steps with regard to bringing about genuine political transition. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Department of Foreign Relations, the Office of Strategic Consulting and Studies Office held a joint meeting to discuss the latest papers of the Constitutional Committee.
Participants in the meeting reviewed the results of the first meeting of the Constitutional Committee which concluded at the United Nations Office in Geneva on Friday.
They stressed the importance of the ideas put forward by the representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission at the end of the meeting of the Committee. They said that these ideas constitute an important addition to the 12 Living Intra-Syrian Essential Principles and the Syrian constitutional experiences on which the Committee is based in the drafting of the new constitution. These principles also represent a real starting point to discuss the provisions of the constitution in the next meeting due to be held on November 25.
The participants pointed out that the ideas put forward by the Assad regime delegation demanded the adoption the constitution of 2012 or making formal amendments to it. The regime’s delegation also reiterated support for the regime's army and allied militias as well as demanded the lifting of economic sanctions on the regime’s senior officials.
Moreover, the participants said that the majority of ideas put forward allow members of the Committee to draw up constitutional items that safeguard rights and freedoms, ensure justice and equality, and ensure the separation of the three executive, legislative and judicial powers.
The coordinators and members of the Coalition’s departments commended the United Nations’ role as facilitator of the meetings of the Committee. They stressed the need to abide by the rules of procedure of the Committee and its timeframe, calling on the international community to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime and its delegation to seriously and effectively engage in the work of the Committee.
The participants reiterated that the drafting of a new constitution for the country will not achieve a political solution in Syria. They called for discussing the rest of the baskets, especially the baskets of governance and elections which will allow the full implementation of relevant international resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Stabilization Committee of the Syrian Interim Government held a workshop in the town of Azaz in rural Aleppo to talk about the work of the Constitutional Committee under the title “the voice of civil society in the constitution.”
Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, members of the Constitutional Committee, representatives of local government institutions in the liberated areas, and political activists talked in the workshop via a video link.
Representatives of local government institutions put forward their ideas and proposals as they expressed the aspirations of the Syrian people and their vision of the new Syrian constitution, which they said must safeguard human dignity, rights and freedoms.
Members of the Constitutional Committee talked in detail about the work of the Committee and the difficulties they are facing in the first meeting which concluded on Friday.
Al-Bahra talked about the historical context of the political process up to the formation of the Constitutional Committee. He also gave a detailed overview on the progress of the work of the Committee. He said that the work of the Committee concerns every Syrian citizen given that the drafting of a new constitution will shape the future of the country and the shape of the state.
“This will have an impact on our personal lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Therefore, the biggest possible segment of the Syrian people must be allowed to participate in the work of this Committee,” Al-Bahra said.
Al-Bahra explained that representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee spared no effort to save time; make use of the meetings to come up with tangible outcomes; and stay away from any proposal outside the framework of the Committee. He pointed out that there are attempts to start the work of the next meeting by discussing the provisions of the Constitution.
Moreover, Al-Bahra said that the results of the work of the Committee will serve the interest of all the Syrian people, which is at the heart of the demands of the revolution. He said that these demands include the safeguarding of freedoms and human dignity, pluralism, separation of powers, equal citizenship, human rights, transparency, accountability, among many other demands.
Al-Bahra focused on the need to distinguish between the negotiating stage and the executive stage. “We are now in the negotiating stage. The Syrian Negotiations Commission is ready to negotiate the other three baskets in parallel and in any order.” With regard to the executive stage, he stressed the need to abide by the order set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which is the formation of a transitional governing body that will be responsible for managing the transitional phase to create a safe, neutral environment. After this environment has been created, a referendum on the draft constitution is held and free and fair parliamentary or presidential elections are held in accordance with the constitution and under the supervision of the United Nations.
Al-Bahra stressed that the Constitutional Committee is one of the components of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 which contains four baskets. He pointed out that discussing the Constitution does not mean the reduction of resolution 2254 or the political solution in Syria, but a gateway to it. He added that the coming period will see the discussion of the rest of the baskets, especially the baskets of governance and elections.
Al-Bahra called on the participants in the workshop to support the work of the Committee and contribute actively to the drafting of a new constitution for Syria. He noted that the coming period will see the launch of a website to publish all the points that will be agreed upon in the framework of the Committee and to receive proposals and responses.
He also stressed that the representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee are committed to the principles of the Syrian revolution and the aspirations of the Syrian people. He said that all the Syrian people share these goals, namely achieving freedom, equality and a real political transition as well as the refusal to reproduce the regime. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian National Coalition, Hisham Marwa, said that the Assad regime's participation in the negotiations on the drafting of a new constitution in Geneva last week came under pressure from international powers, including Russia, Assad's main ally.
In an interview with the Saudi newspaper Okaz on Thursday, Marwa pointed out that the international pressure on the regime reinforced the position of the Syrian Negotiations Commission. He also said that the goal of the political process is the implementation of UN resolution 2254 and the establishment of a non-sectarian political system that is chosen by the Syrian people freely and without any restrictions.
Marwa said that the Drafting Body is a gateway to the implementation of UN Resolution 2254, which calls for a political solution. The resolution contains four paragraphs, including the transitional governance. According to the resolution, the Constitutional Committee will draw up a draft constitution and put it to a referendum then hold elections.
The position of the political opposition remains strong in accordance with the international resolutions on Syria, Marwa added. He said that the Assad regime will not abide by these resolutions unless it is forced to do so under international pressure, including from Russia, which means that the opposition is negotiating with the regime from a position of strength.
Marwa said that the slight breakthrough which was made in the first meeting of the Constitutional Committee raised the hopes for reaching an agreement on the basic provisions of the new constitution although the first round of negotiations saw reluctance by the regime to seriously engage in many issues related to the constitution. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)