A delegation from the Syrian National Coalition headed by President Anas Al-Abda met with HE Msgr. Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relation with States in Vatican. The two sides stressed the need to protect civilians in Syria and stop all military operations.
President al-Abda said that the visit to the Vatican “is very important given its role in bringing peace to different parts of the world.” He talked about the humanitarian situation in Idlib and the Assad regime’s targeting of civilian facilities such as medical facilities, schools, and places of worship, stressing the importance of stopping all military operations targeting civilians.
Al-Abda called for the mobilization of international efforts to stop the onslaught the Assad regime’s forces are launching on Idlib with Russian and Iranian support. He also called for a return to the negotiating table and the enforcement of international resolutions, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Moreover, al-Abda pointed out that the issue of refugees in the host countries, especially in Lebanon, can only be resolved through a political solution and the withdrawal of sectarian militias from the Syrian territory, including the Hezbollah militia.
Al-Abda stressed the need to release the detainees and disclose the fate of the missing, adding that the issue of detainees is one of the thorniest issues as the Assad regime resorts to this tactic to terrorize the Syrian people and discourage them from demanding freedom and dignity.
For his part, HE Msgr. Paul Gallagher stressed the need to protect civilians in Idlib; stop all military operations; provide humanitarian support for the IDPs, and pay more attention to the issue of detainees and seek their release. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian National Coalition, Anas Al-Abda, sent a letter to the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, thanking him for the honorable positions of the State of Kuwait towards the Syrian people and its defense of their rights in international forums.
On behalf of the Coalition’s General Assembly, al-Abda extended to the Emir of Kuwait the best wishes for a speedy recovery and a lasting sense of health and well-being.
Al-Abda stressed the Coalition's keenness on the best fraternal, distinguished relations with the State of Kuwait as well as its permanent desire to strengthen those relations in a way that serves the two brotherly peoples.
“We appreciate what Kuwait has done over the past years in support for the Syrian people at the humanitarian and political levels.”
The State of Kuwait, along with Belgium and Germany, submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire, respect for the international humanitarian law, and putting pressure on the regime to release the detainees. Kuwait has also contributed enormously and generously to ease the suffering of the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Office of Strategic Consulting and the Office of Studies and Documents held a series of meetings with bodies, personalities, and activists in the Turkish province of Hatay which hosts about 400,000 Syrian refugees. The meetings discussed the latest on the ground and political developments.
The Syrian’s Coalition Representative Office in the city of Hatay provided an overview of the situation of Syrian refugees in the province. Participants in the meetings discussed ways to strengthen the link between the Syrian community and the Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government operating in the liberated areas.
The discussions touched on the course of the Syrian revolution, the situation in Idlib and east of the Euphrates, and the political process. The delegation of the Coalition gave a detailed explanation of the on the ground and political developments. It stressed the importance of unity among Syrians and the organization of internal work as well as the positive interaction with the media campaigns launched in support of the Syrian revolution.
For their part, representatives of the Syrian community in Hatay said that they view the Coalition as the legitimate umbrella of the revolution as they reaffirmed their support for it. They called for expediting the launch of the work of the Syrian Interim Government to provide basic services to the Syrian civilians in the liberated areas and those being displaced from their homes as a result of the brutal onslaught the Assad regime and Russian forces have launched on Idlib and rural Hama.
They also presented proposals to strengthen communication, activate the presence of the Coalition in Hatay, and organize the work of the Syrian community in one framework. They also stressed the need to utilize the expertise of the community which includes an elite of lawyers, intellectuals, officers, scientific and educational experts. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition denounced the shocking statements recently made by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as an attempt to whitewash the image of the “murderous regime” which committed the most heinous crimes against the Syrian people and Palestinian refugees.
“The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has not only diverted aid from the deserving refugees and IDPs and dedicated it to supporting Assad’s war machine and his murderous regime which is responsible for the largest displacement operation in the world since the Second World War as well as to supporting the regime forces to commit more war crimes against the Syrian people, but has also recently made attempts to whitewash the regime,” said the Coalition in a press release issued on Thursday.
The Coalition said that “the UNHCR barefacedly thanked the Assad regime, ignoring the facts in a way that cannot be justified whatsoever, especially as half of the Syrian people have become internally displaced or refugees in neighboring countries and around the world as a result of policies and plans developed and implemented by the regime and its allies.”
The Coalition condemned these statements whitewashing the regime and extending “deep gratitude” to the regime for its “cooperation and support for refugees in Syria.”
“These remarks ignored the regime’s destruction of schools, institutes and universities as well as its killing and detaining of tens of thousands of students and teachers, including Palestinian refugees, and torturing them in its prisons. These crimes have been confirmed by independent and official bodies and committees of the UN.”
The Coalition went on: “These reprehensible remarks also contradict dozens of reports and documents submitted by committees of the UN Security Council, all of which accused the regime and its allies of involvement in war crimes, crimes against humanity and the use of chemical weapons.”
“Such poisonous statements, which cannot be justified and which were made outside any reasonable context, cannot pass without being classified as part of attempts to whitewash the image of the regime.” The Coalition stressed that such statements suggest that the UN institutions are infiltrated in one way or another by elements working in favor of the regime or benefit from it directly or indirectly.
The Coalition called on the UN to order the UNHCR to retract its statements and not to make any statements that contradict the UN’s official positions or that condone the Assad regime’s crimes. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Bader Jamous, member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee, stressed the need to expedite the launch of the work of the Constitutional Committee and to remove all obstacles to its formation.
Jamous on Thursday participated in a meeting in Geneva which brought together the Small Group on Syria, the UN envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen, and a delegation from the Syrian Negotiations Commission headed by Nasr al-Hariri.
Jamous also underscored the need to convene the Constitutional Committee before the start of the meetings of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. He also underlined the importance of utilizing these meetings to ensure the enforcement of the humanitarian provisions set out in the international resolutions, most importantly the establishment of a ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, and the release of detainees.
Moreover, Jamous stressed that the only way to end the conflict in Syria, restore security and stability, ensure the return of the refugees and the IDPs is through the revitalization of the political process that guarantees the release of all detainees and the drafting of a new constitution for the country. He said that this must take place in parallel with the creation of a safe, neutral environment through the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) laying the groundwork for fair elections under the auspices of the United Nations.
For his part, the US special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said that the meeting saw “a very fruitful dialogue on the situation in Syria and the future course under resolution 2254.”
“We were appalled by the continued violent attacks and the slaughter of civilians in Idlib,” Jeffrey said, stressing that “this must stop.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)