The Regional Office for Arab Affairs of the Syrian National Coalition’s Department of Foreign Relations convened to discuss ways of developing relations with the Arab states and enhancing the Arab role in pushing the political process forward in accordance with the resolutions of the Arab League and relevant international resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communque of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Coordinator of the Office Salim al-Khatib gave an overview of the recent activities of the Office. It held several meetings with representatives of the state of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. It passed with them messages to their governments stressing the risks of normalization of relations with a “regime that has long lost its legitimacy, killed more than a million people and displaced more than 10 million.”
The Office thanked the representatives of the Arab states for hosting the Syrian refugees as it called for additional facilitations for them. It also stressed the need for continued, constructive communication to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people.
Al-Khatib said that these meetings came as part of a comprehensive plan drawn up by the Office to mobilize Arab diplomat support for the Syrian people.
Al-Khatib stressed the importance of the Arab role in confronting Iran’s malicious role in Syria and the region and its threatening of the security and stability in the Arab region. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition said that terror cells once again struck to target civilians as well as create chaos and fear in northern rural Aleppo.
In a press release issued on Monday, the Coalition said that Sunday's terrorist attack in the town of al-Ra'ie near the Grand Hospital left 11 people dead and 15 others injured. The death toll is likely to rise as some of the injured are in critical conditions.
“This heinous crime took place only two days after a similar attack targeted a popular market shortly before the Friday congregational prayers and resulted in the deaths of 13 civilians, including children and the injury of 25 others,” the Coalition said.
The Coalition stressed that “this premediated criminal attack targeted civilians with the aim of putting increasing pressure on them in parallel with the ongoing brutal bombardment against Idlib province.”
“These concerted attacks indicate insistence by the Assad regime and its allies on a pursuing military and criminal choice and undermining all chances for a political solution, buoyed by total international inaction.”
The Coalition went on to say that the Syrian National Army will continue to hunt down the terrorist elements and militias as it is working to increase its readiness to counter any evil plans and ensure the end of any terrorist presence threatening the security of civilians in the region.
“Terrorism that the regime is managing and spreading, as well the terrorism being practiced by the allied militias and organizations of various denominations are the direct result of the international failure to deal with the issue and its inability to impose a real political solution.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian National Coalition’s political committee and Coordinator of the Office of Strategic Consulting Ahmed Ramadan said that the Syrian revolution is establishing a future phase in Syria that is based on democracy, justice and equality. He added that the rule of the Assad regime contradicts all civilizational values and prevents any form of development or progress.
Ramadan made these remarks during a special workshop organized by the Pioneers for Cooperation and Development in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on the occasion of the International Day of Democracy. The participants also included former minister in the Syrian Interim Government Mohammed Yassin Najjar and political researcher Saad Wifai’e.
In the workshop held under the title "Democracy: Is it a Necessity and a Demand?, Ramadan said that the main goal of the Syrian revolution is to get rid of the tyrannical regime and end tyranny both in terms of the thought and behavior as well as to build a democratic system of rule that respects diversity and fosters coexistence. This system shall draft a new constitution that paves the way for a phase in which the Syrian citizens can freely choose their representatives and where there is a peaceful transfer of power away from security crackdown and corruption.
Ramadan reviewed the course of the social movement and the role of civil society and political forces in confronting the Assad regime's repressive tools prior to the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011. He stressed that the biggest challenge was the ability of political parties to express themselves and their goals in a vision that provides a model for a democratic system of rule based on respect for public freedoms. The challenge was also the ability of these parties to ensure the adequate representation of the components of the Syrian people and emphasize the values of freedom, justice and equal citizenship.
Moreover, Ramadan stressed that the Syrian revolution relatively succeeded in building institutions that uphold the value of democracy despite the lack of suitable conditions for popular elections in a safe environment. He pointed to the importance of raising awareness about the values of democracy and to be deeply rooted in our social values so as to prevent the return of tyranny to our country.
For his part, Mohammed Yassin Najjar pointed out that the United Nations has given the issue of democracy special importance in its institutions. He said that the UN made the promotion of democratic values at the core of its work and encouraged States and regimes to move towards democratic systems ensuring respect for human rights.
Najjar called for democracy to be considered the basis of the future system of rule in Syria. He also stressed the need for the political parties and community forces to be engaged in building the individual, society, and the state systems and institutions based on the principle of respect for democracy, pluralism and fundamental freedoms.
Wifai’e said that some people’s opposition to democracy can be attributed to misunderstanding and confusion about the values of democracy – such as mechanisms governing the relationship between the individual, society and the state and working to choose the most efficient - and the Western liberal democracy, which adopts democracy in various forms.
Wifai’e said that there is an urgent need to benefit from the democratic building system and the experiences of peoples everywhere in the world, especially those that have fought a long struggle to get rid of tyranny and start the process of democratization.
The attendees asked questions about the issue, stressing the importance of the Syrian people sending a clear message to the world that they are seeking to build a democratic, pluralistic state that is committed to human rights conventions and universal human values. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)