The delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission headed by Nasr al-Hariri met the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on the sidelines of the meetings of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York on Sunday.
The two sides discussed the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Idlib resulting from the brutal bombardment being carried out by Assad regime and Russia forces on the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria and the developments in the political process.
The Commission's delegation called for the EU to assume a firm political position to prevent attacks on civilians in the region and increase humanitarian support for civilians in the areas being subjected to attacks by Assad forces and its backers, especially in Idlib.
The delegation reaffirmed its commitment to the political process as they stressed the importance of reaching a political solution in accordance with the international resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
For her part, Mogherini stressed that Europe's policies did not change, stressing that the international community will not re-engage the Assad regime or support rebuilding in Syria without a political solution ensuring a real political transition and the return of refugees. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Member of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed Shehadi, met with Head of the Free Trade Unions in Aleppo, Sakher Al-Ali, at the Coalition’s office in rural Aleppo. The two sides discussed the importance of the development of the Union activities and the women activities in the liberated areas.
Participants in the meeting discussed the Union’s mechanism of work as they stressed the need to develop an internal system for its work and the need for coordination with all other trade unions, sub-unions and craftsmen in the liberated areas. They also discussed the contribution of the Coalition in supporting the work of trade union.
Shehadi stressed the Coalition’s interest and its follow-up on the work of the Free Trade Union Unions in Aleppo, underscoring the importance of its role in organizing the trade union and women's activities in the liberated areas.
Shehadi pointed to the need to develop the plan of action and the vision for the development of the work of trade unions, noting that the success of the work of the Union will reflect positively on the economic and social reality in the region.
Sakher said that a women's union was formed to organize the women's activities in the liberated areas as he stressed the important role of women in Syrian society and the need to ensure their participation in all sectors.
The two sides agreed to continue communication and coordination with the aim of creating a distinguished model for the work of trade unions in the liberated areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
President of the Syrian National Coalition, Anas Al-Abda, stressed that the continued presence of Iran in Syria puts the country and the whole region in a state of constant instability and tension, stressing the need to put an end to Iran’s malicious activities.
The situation rapidly escalated in the province of Deir Ezzor on Friday after the Assad regime forces and Iranian sectarian militias killed two young men in the region.
This crime adds to the litany of war crimes and violations the Iranian militias are committing against civilians in the region. These militias are present in large numbers in the border areas with Iraq east and south of the country.
President al-Abda said that Iran is playing a destructive role in the region. He stressed that the Iranian goals have become clear to everyone, namely to create problems and ignite strife in the region which culminated in the attack on Aramco oil facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The threat of Iran is no longer confined to the countries of the region, but has grown to hit one of the most important sources of energy in the world, which would cause a crisis affecting all countries.
President al-Abda called on Arab states and the international community to unify their stances towards Iran's crimes, adding that keeping silent about such acts of sabotage risks indulging the region in bigger crises. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Al-Jazeera and Euphrates Committee on Saturday met with with rights activists and civil bodies in the eastern region to discuss the Coalition’s vision for the eastern region and the safe zone.
Participants in the meeting held an open discussion to outline the visions and mechanisms regarding the region and its management. They stressed the importance of the establishment of bodies and institutions that would enable the local population to manage their areas. They also stressed the need to form police and security forces to control security in the next phase.
Moreover, the participants stressed the importance of forming local councils in the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Raqqa and Al-Hasakah ensuring adequate representation of the population of the region through elections. They reiterated rejection of the presence of the PYD militia which are committing crimes and violations against civilians.
The Coalition’s Vice-president and Coordinator of the Committee, Oqab Yahya said that the Coalition sees civilians and their protection as a priority in all its activities. He noted that the Committee is seeking to restore stability in the eastern region with the aim of enabling the displaced people to return to their areas of origin.
Yahya pointed out that the establishment of a civil administration in the liberated areas will contribute to the restoration of security and justice, uphold the principles of the Syrian revolution of freedom and dignity for all civilians; and provide a model for the rest of the Syrian regions.
The participants put forward a number of important suggestions that the Committee will study and utilize in its ongoing work to finalize its vision for the region. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Head of the Syrian Interim Government, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with representatives of the Syrian Tribal Council to discuss the SIG’ plans to manage the liberated areas and improve the reality of services being provided to civilians.
Participants in the meeting included Head of the Syrian Tribal Council Sheikh Rami Al-Doush, his deputies Sheikh Mohammed Khair Ayoub and Amer Al-Bashir, and Head of the Dignitaries Council Sheikh Faisal Sultan.
Mustafa pointed out that SIG is facing major challenges at a very critical stage and need to combine efforts to implement the plans it has developed.
Moreover, Mustafa stressed the need for collaboration and cooperation with the Council in all matters that would enable SIG’s institutions to materialize its plans of action.
Mustafa said that SIG and its institutions have developed a new strategy for their work, adding that there is an international interest in SIG’s work and in making it a success.
He stressed the need for local and international organizations operating in the region to coordinate their efforts so as to achieve the greatest degree of cooperation and provide the best service to citizens in the liberated areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Vice-President of the Syrian Coalition, Dima Moussa, welcomed with appreciation the efforts of UN Security Council members Kuwait, Belgium, and Germany, through a draft resolution that aimed first and foremost to protect the millions of civilians in Idlib from the military campaigns that the Assad regime is carrying out with the assistance of its Russian ally.
Moussa said that the Assad regime forces supported by Russia have committed and continue to commit war crimes and violate international laws by deliberately targeting civilians and civilian structures, under the pretext of presence of radicals in the area.
Moussa added that “the draft resolution specifically called for complying with international laws including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and stated that countering terrorism does not absolve the parties of their obligations thereunder.” This part specifically disturbed the regime, and Russia rejected it wanting to include a language similar to that in UNSC Res 2401, which ultimately it used as a green light to carry out military operations that targeted civilians in Eastern Ghouta before forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of them.
“We welcome the efforts by the member states that supported the draft resolution and voiced disappointment at the inability to pass it in blatant disregard for human life, international laws, and basic human decency,” said Moussa. She added “this is not surprising from a regime whose representative in the UN attacked with lies and accusations the member states that proposed the draft resolution.”
This was in reference to the regime’s UN representative responding to the representative of Kuwait with accusations of harboring and supporting terrorism and terrorist groups, following a comment by Mr. Mansour Al-Otaibi in which he expressed disappointment at the UNSC’s failure to shoulder its responsibilities towards the people of Idlib and Syria, by failing to adopt a resolution that is purely a humanitarian decision.
“The response we saw from the regime’s representative is exactly what we expect from a criminal regime constantly working to cover up its crimes by trying to undermine the efforts of any party that exposes them and calls out the regime on its crimes,” said Moussa.
“We have said it many times, and we say it again, we will not forget those who stood up for the Syrian people and who stand up to this regime’s attempts to undermine not only the political process but all international laws and human decency,” added Moussa.
She stressed that the position of Kuwait and other member states is a reminder that the Syrian people still have friends advocating for their basic rights in an international system that “is obviously broken and unable to maintain international peace and security as was intended when it was created.” (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
A delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Commission met with a number of prominent members of the US Congress and the US special envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, to discuss with them the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Idlib as a result of military operations being launched by the Assad regime and Russia and the latest political developments.
The meeting, which took place inside the US Congress in Washington DC, was organized by the Syrian community in the United States. Member of the Commission Badr Jamous, said that they asked members of the US Congress to urge the US administration to take serious action to protect civilians in Syria and ensure a nationwide ceasefire, the release of detainees, and the provision of humanitarian aid for the IDPs.
The delegation called on members of the US Congress to seek greater US engagement in Syria and supporting the cause of the Syrian people in their quest for freedom, dignity and getting rid of the Assad regime.
Jamous said that the delegation reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of international resolutions on Syrian, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254 as he stressed the need to adhere to the timetable and steps set out in those resolutions.
The delegation then held an internal meeting with the Syrian community in the United States. Head of the Commission Nasr al-Hariri gave an overview of the humanitarian and political situation as well as the vision of the Syrian Interim Government to manage the liberated areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF) has agreed to provide funding for a number of vital projects in the liberated areas, bringing to 148.4 million euros the value of projects approved by the Fund so far.
The decision was made during the 22nd regular meeting of the SRTF Management Unit (MU) which was held in the Czech capital of Prague on Thursday. The meeting was attended by representative of the Syrian National Coalition Hadi al-Bahra and representative of the Syrian Interim Government Yasser al-Hajjo.
The meeting focused on following up on the projects SRTF is funding in the liberated areas. Participants also discussed drafts for new projects.
Al-Bahra said that the meeting resulted in the approval of funding and budgets for projects in the liberated areas, pointing out that the implementation of these projects will reflect positively on the reality of services being provided to the population in those areas.
Al-Bahra pointed out that SIG is currently developing other projects for the liberated areas. “The international community has responsibility to achieve security and stability in the areas outside the control of the Assad regime, which will secure these areas and improve services as key to the return of IDPs and refugees.”
The projects included providing support for the Syrian Civil Defense’s efforts to clear rubble and landmines from eight towns and villages in Aleppo province. Funding was also provided to support a project to maintain the food warehouse and refrigerators of the local council in the town of Marea.
SRTF Management Unit also approved funding for a project for mobile clinics and a clean water supply for rural communities in Raqqa province. The total value of these projects is approximately 8.3 million euros.
The Syrian National Coalition chairs the Board of Directors of SRTF which was established in 2013. Members of the Fund comprise Germany, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, France, Kuwait, Japan, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, and Jordan. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s political committee held a regular meeting to discuss a the latest political and on the ground developments. It also discussed the results of the recent European tour and the meetings with Arab officials held to mobilize support for the cause of the Syrian people.
Members of the committee reviewed the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Assad regime and Russian ongoing military operations in the ‘de-escalation zone’ in northwestern Syria. They also discussed a comprehensive plan for an emergency campaign involving friendly states as well as international and local organizations in order to alleviate the suffering of the IDPs.
Tabled for discussion were also the results of the tripartite summit in Ankara which coincided with the meeting of the international Small Group on Syria in Geneva last week. The committee members reiterated calls for the implementation of international resolutions in the sequence set out by those resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Moreover, members of the committee stressed the need to implement the humanitarian provisions contained in international resolutions as a confidence-building measure, including a nationwide ceasefire, the release of detainees, the introduction of humanitarian aid, and ensuring the voluntary return of displaced persons and refugees to their places of origin.
The members also discussed the meetings being held by a joint delegation from the Coalition and the Syrian Negotiations Commission on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings with the aim of mobilizing Arab and international support for the Syrian people in their quest for freedom, dignity and getting rid of the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition said that Russia and China’s vetoing of the draft UN Security Council resolution that was proposed by Belgium, Kuwaiti and Germany calling for a truce and the protection of civilians in Idlib represents “continuation of the Russian-Chinese covering of the Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Coalition said that “this repeated step must be condemned, especially as it comes in the context of Russia’s direct military support to the regime and its active participation in the bombing of civilians and the war crimes against the Syrian people as well as its interference in Syria’s affairs amounting to direct occupation of the country.”
“The use of the veto by the sponsors of the murderous regime should not absolve the international community of its responsibility towards the tragedy of the Syrian people, whether with regard to the ongoing war crimes, the humanitarian catastrophe, the issue of detainees and refugees, and the dozens of other outstanding issues,” the Coalition added.
The Coalition went on to say that “there is no room for comparison between the draft resolutions that were blocked by the Russian-Chinese veto disrupting the will of the international community and those put forward by the Assad regime's allies in the UN Security Council and which were all rejected by a majority of votes.”
The Coalition called on the major actors to shoulder their responsibilities by working collectively to establish an international mechanism that is capable of putting an end to the killings and crimes against the Syrian people and create the suitable conditions for a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254.
Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a draft resolution submitted by Kuwait, Germany and Belgium calling for a truce in Idlib province, allowing humanitarian access and medical evacuations, and urging against the besiegement of residential areas. This is the 13th time Russia cast the veto on the UN Security Council in support of the Assad regime and to prevent any condemnation of Assad since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)