The Syrian National Coalition’s Department of Foreign Relations met with the French political advisor on Syria, Fabrice Desplechin, and discussed with him the latest political developments, especially the recent meeting of the Small Group in Geneva.
Coordinator of the Department, Abdel Ahad Steifou, stressed the need for the enforcement of international resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. He noted that Article IV of UN resolution 2254 set out a clear timetable for the drafting of a new constitution and then the holding of free, fair elections within 18 months under the auspices of the United Nations.
Steifou also stressed the need for confidence-building measures, including a nationwide ceasefire, the release of detainees, the introduction of humanitarian aid, and ensuring the voluntary return of the IDPs and refugees to their places of origin.
Moreover, Steifou called for the electoral institutions to be formed in accordance with international standards and for their members and institutions to be nominated under the supervision of the United Nations. The United Nations must have total oversight on the management of the daily affairs of the elections; receive complaints and appeals; and have the power to validate the results of the elections.
Steifou also stressed the rejection of attempts to limit the work of the Constitutional Committee to amending the constitution of 2012. He pointed out that the Assad regime insists on this demand as it is desperately trying to avoid serious engagement in the political process.
Attempts to change the sequence of the stages of the political process, such as the holding of elections before the drafting of a new constitution, will not lead to positive results and will take the political process to a deadlock once again.
Steifou added that there are many grave articles in the current election law that will deprive millions of refugees and IDPs of their right to stand for election.
Furthermore, Steifou called on the friendly countries of the Syrian people, especially the Small Group, to exert pressure on the Assad regime's allies to fully and genuinely engage in the political process instead of putting pressure on the Syrian opposition to make concessions.
He pointed out that the Coalition still believes that the solution must be a political one that meets the aspirations of the people and in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Interim Government Abdurrahman Mustafa held an important meeting with officials of the US State Department and discussed with them the major humanitarian crisis in Idlib. He also highlighted the vision of the new SIG which is based on civil administration in the liberated areas.
Participants in the meeting included SIG’s Minister of Local Administration Mohamed Said Suleiman, a SIG technical team, Director of the US State Department's START Team, Michael Koplovsky, Political Chief Zehra Bell, and START Political Assistant Mohammed Najjar.
Mustafa said that the meeting was focused the scale of the catastrophe resulting from the continued military operations targeting residential areas and medical facilities in Idlib. He stressed the need for the major actors, most notably the United States, to actively assume their role in Syrian as it will reflect positively on the political process.
Moreover, Mustafa spoke about the plans and projects that SIG is working to turn into real programs on the ground, pointing out that good governance of the liberated areas will have a significant impact on the political process.
The success of SIG’s work will bring security and stability to the liberated areas, Mustafa said, adding that this will encourage the IDP and refugees to return. He also said that security and stability will create a positive atmosphere and jobs dissuading the population from seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
Mustafa gave an overview of SIG’s achievements, especially in the area of education and the development and improvement of the work of local councils. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)