Final Communiqué of 35th Session of the Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly
In memory of the fallen heroes of the civil defense in the town of Salqeen
September 15, 2017
The Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly opened its 35th session with observing a moment of silence for the fallen heroes of the Syrian Revolution. The session was dedicated to the civil defense volunteers who were killed in a raid on their center in the town of Salqeen in rural Idlib as well as to honor the sacrifices of the civil defense. After reviewing reports submitted by the President, the Secretary General, and the decisions of the political committee, the General Assembly placed improvement of the Coalition’s performance high on the agenda of the meeting. The General Assembly approved the inclusion of representatives of a number of Free Syrian Army groups as new members in the Coalition and ten new members as representatives of the Coalition’s components, women and political bodies.
Members of the General Assembly discussed the situation in Idlib province and suggestions to set up a crisis cell to address the situation in the province. They also discussed the roles of the Coalition, the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and the local councils. The GA objected to any participation in the so-called civil administration and denounced the practices of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham against SIG and the local councils. Tabled for discussion was also the situation in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor as well as in the “de-escalation zones.” A set of decisions and positions were made, including the formation of an expanded committee for the Euphrates and Al-Jazeera areas. The GA welcomes the nationwide cease-fire as it stresses that the Astana meetings and the “de-escalation zones” agreement must not replace a political solution, the Geneva process, and the relevant UN resolutions.
The GA condemnes the latest remarks made by the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura which were biased in favor of the Assad regime. A suggestion was put forward to address the UN Secretary-General to make it clear that the continuation of the UN envoy in his mission should require reconsideration of his role and performance.
The Coalition’s GA reaffirms its commitment to a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and the relevant UN resolutions. It also reasserts its commitment to the goals and guiding principles of the Syrian Revolution as well as to a comprehensive political transition process. Moreover, the GA reiterates is rejection of giving any role to the Assad regime and its pillars in the transitional period or in the future of Syria. It also renews calls for the referral of Assad and his clique to the International Criminal Court as war criminals in view of the recent UN reports confirming the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons in the attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun and their offering of compelling new evidence in this regard.
In its review of the changing international positions on Syria, the GA emphasizes that the Syrian people, having made immense sacrifices, have the right to make their own decisions and to seek to fulfill their aspirations through the establishment of a pluralistic, civil, democratic system of rule in which there is no place for the criminal Bashar Al-Assad or the pillars of his regime. The insistence of the Syrian people on carrying on with their struggle and on their will to remain represented by the Coalition can lead to a change to these positions in line with human rights laws. The GA condemns the Iranian sectarian project in Syria, the mass forced displacement operations, the demographic change operations, and the bringing of sectarian militias to Syria as it renews calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and militias from Syria.
The GA also reiterates its clear position on terrorist organizations whose acts risk tarnishing the image of Islam as it stresses the need to fight these groups and end their presence in our country. The GA believes that projects to partition the country, the creation of spheres of influence, and the establishment of some sort of self-administrations will be doomed to fail as they will all be resisted by all components of the Syrian people. The GA stresses that Syria will remain unified for all its citizens who aspire to live in a civil, democratic state in which al citizens are equal.
Building a free national army has always been one of the Coalition’s top priorities. To this end, the Coalition will continue its efforts with the Syrian Interim Government and the Free Syrian Army groups to create the conditions that are necessary for the success of this project.
The General Assembly salutes the steadfastness and struggle of our people as well as the peaceful demonstrations they stage, especially in the province of Idlib. It vows it will make every effort to ensure that these demonstrations take place in all Syrian cities and area and restore the spirit of the revolution as a peaceful popular, movement by all Syrians from all backgrounds.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
Long live Syria and the Syrian people, free and with honor.