President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) Nasr Al-Hariri, took part in a celebration held by the French Consulate in Istanbul on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Syrian revolution. The SOC’s delegation comprised Vice-president Ruba Habboush, Secretary-General Abdelbaset Abdullatif, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations Abdulahad Asteipho, and members of the political committee Abdul Majeed Barakat and Abdullah Kaddo.
Al-Hariri delivered the opening speech at the ceremony which brought together the French Consul in Istanbul Olivier Goffin and a host of officials, media workers and researchers. He emphasized the heroism of the Syrian people and their resilience in their 10-year quest for freedom. He said that despite the unspeakable suffering, the Syrian people are still resisting tyranny with absolute nobility and courage, and that it is time for them to regain freedom, democracy and safety. He called on the free peoples around the world to stand with the Syrian people.
He stressed the importance of international action to confront the crimes of the Assad regime and the need to establish an international mechanism to hold the Assad regime accountable for the war crimes it has committed over the past ten years. He called on Paris to join an international alliance that the SOC is currently working to build with friendly states as well as international and human rights organizations with the aim of punish war criminals. He pointed out that economic sanctions alone are not sufficient, stressing the need for international action in accordance with UN resolutions 2118 and 2254.
Moreover, Al-Hariri talked about the economic situation in Syria, making it clear that the Assad regime’s economic meltdown came as a direct result of the Assad regime’s war on the Syrian people and its depletion of the country’s resources on this war. He also attributed this meltdown to the smuggling of money to outside the country by senior figures of the regime, which Assad himself once admitted. The Assad regime exploits the dire economic conditions in its areas in order to pressure and blackmail the international community and urge it to lift sanctions and accept its rehabilitation, he added.
Al-Hariri cited the Assad regime’s most heinous crimes, most notably its use of chemical weapons, the mass forced displacement, and widespread torture against detainee. He stressed that turning a blind eye to these atrocities will not improve the situation, adding that Assad presides over a terrorist regime that imposes a serious threat to the whole region and beyond.
He called on France to play a greater role in Syria, stressing the need to step up support to the Syrian people in their quest to get rid of the Assad regime and close this dark chapter of the history of Syria. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)