A high-level delegation of the Syrian National Coalition, headed by President Anas Al-Abda, began a tour to Italy and the Vatican City as part of a plan to mobilize international support to stop the onslaught being launched by the Assad regime forces on Idlib with Russian and Iranian support. The tour will also seek a return to the negotiating table and ensure the enforcement of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254.
The Coalition’s delegation will put forward several proposals for ensuring protection of civilians, the launch of a relief program for the IDPs, and ensuring support for the programs being developed by the Syrian Interim Government to manage the liberated areas and enable civilians to stay in their homes. The proposals will focus on the importance of deterring the Assad regime and its allies from targeting civilians in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. The delegation will also highlight the regime’s war crimes such as the bombing of healthcare centers, schools, public markets, and houses as the main reason of any new possible wave of refugees.
The delegation will also call on friendly states to support the UN efforts to revitalize the political process which has been stalled due to the intransigence of the Assad regime and its insistence on pursuing a bloody military solution. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, met with the UN envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen in Geneva on Thursday and discussed with him the humanitarian situation in Idlib and the latest developments in the political process, including the formation of the Constitutional Committee and the need to find a clear mechanism for its work and mandate.
The two sides discussed the issue of detainees as one of the humanitarian provisions of UN resolution 2254, a nationwide ceasefire, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
Meanwhile, the Small Group on Syria met in Geneva on Thursday. Hariri took part in the meeting.
The meeting brought together experts and international envoys in preparation for a ministerial meeting scheduled for September 26 on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
The Small Group meeting focused on the latest developments in Idlib, the consequences of the Assad regime’s and its allies’ ongoing onslaught on the region, and the US-Turkish ongoing arrangements for the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Bader Jamous, member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, deplored the worsening living conditions in Syria resulting from the depreciation of the Syrian pound, especially for those living under the rule of the Assad regime. He stressed that a just political solution and the return of displaced Syrians will open the door for the lifting of sanctions and the return of investors and expatriate money to the country.
Jamous on Thursday said that the Assad regime is still pursuing an extremely detrimental financial policy, especially with regard to the prevention of trading of the foreign currency, which brought the Syrian pound to a record low.
He added that this sharp decline in the value of the Syrian pound led to a spike in the prices of local and imported goods, which reflected negatively on the purchasing power of the low and middle income earners as well as the most vulnerable groups. Government employees are now paid an equivalent of $2 per day only, he said, pointing out that the regime officials, meanwhile, are accumulating more wealth through various ways of extortion and embezzlement of public and private property.
Moreover, Jamous stressed that the regime is mainly to blame for the collapse of the Syrian currency and the Syrian economy as the regime spent the country’s reserves of foreign exchange on military operations directed against the Syrian people. Syria’s Central Bank said its reserves of foreign exchange now stand at 700 million US dollars, down from 20 billion at the start of the revolution.
Jamous pointed out that the inflation will most likely worsen as the Assad regime continued its policy of destruction of the infrastructure and the displacement of human resources. He pointed out that the Assad regime is indifferent to the reality of the economy and the market’s pressing need for hard currency and still counting on a bloody military solution and continues to drain the country's resources. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)