The US Senate passed the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act after a similar move by the House of Representatives to impose unprecedentedly sweeping legal and economic sanctions on the Assad regime.
The Syrian National Coalition said that the adoption of the bill provides an opportunity to put an end to the international community’s inaction towards the situation in Syria and to work to build up the momentum needed to implement international resolutions, most importantly UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Coalition said that despite the long delay in the procedures related to the adoption of the bill, the move means a lot at this time. It stressed that the “bill came against the backdrop of Russia’s continued obstruction of the UN Security Council’s through its repeated use of its veto power to shield the Assad regime thus giving it the green light to do whatever it wanted.”
The Coalition underscored that “the main cause of what has happened to date and the deterioration of the situation in Syria is the Assad regime, its allies and supporters, and whoever continues to supply it with money, weapons, and militias as well as whoever provides a political cover for these crimes.”
The Coalition expressed its hope that “the act will be applied with the utmost seriousness by targeting the parties involved and responsible for the killings, mass displacement, and torture against the Syrian people.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the Syrian Negotiations Commission continues to work on discussing the basket of governance in order to develop ideas and solutions to create a “safe and neutral environment” in line with international resolutions on Syria, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Speaking at a workshop held by the Syrian Negotiations Commission several days ago, Al-Farhan stressed the importance of implementing international resolutions with regards to the provision of a safe and neutral environment. The Commission put forward a set of recommendations that will be part of negotiations in the next round of talks aimed at implementing UN resolution 2254.
Al-Farhan stressed the importance of the creation of a safe and neutral environment in accordance with the conditions and standards spelled out in the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. These include radical changes in the army, police, and security apparatuses, Al-Farhan said, adding that providing an appropriate environment is crucial for democratic change in Syria and allowing the Syrians to exercise their freedom in choosing their future through democratic means.
Al-Farhan stressed the need for commitment to the Geneva Communqie of 2012 as the basis of the political process and the transitional stage as well as to its provisions calling for the establishment of a “Transitional Governing Body (TGB) that can create a neutral environment in which the transitional process moves forward.”
Al-Farhan added that the first article of UN Resolution 2254 also calls for "ensuring the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of 2012, adding that the 4th article calls for the holding of “free and fair elections under the supervision by the United Nations.” Articles 12 and 13 called for "the release of detainees and a ceasefire,” while Article 14 stresses the need to “create conditions for the voluntary and safe return of refugees to their places of origin.”
Furthermore, Al-Farhan indicated that creating a safe environment is of paramount importance for putting the constitution to a referendum at the end of the work of the Constitutional Committee. He added: “The procedures for obtaining public approval require the creation of a free environment for putting the outcomes of the Constitutional Committee into effect.” He pointed out that based on Article 4 of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, the Council supports “a Syrian-led political process that is facilitated by the United Nations and… establishes credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance and sets a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution, and further expresses its support for free and fair elections.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)