Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr Al-Hariri, on Friday held a press conference to talk about the latest grave developments in Idlib province and about the recent meetings being held by independent figures in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Al-Hariri said that “the sky over Idlib is seldom void of warplanes and airstrikes as if this region was not covered by any agreement.” He stressed that this requires urgent action by all states of the world to avert a major humanitarian catastrophe in the region.
Al-Hariri pointed out that hundreds of thousands of civilians are heading towards the border with Turkey as he warned of a fresh refugee crisis. He added that the international community, which has so far been unable to fulfill its legal responsibilities, namely the protection of civilians, must take humanitarian action to meet the needs of those in need.
Al-Hariri declared Idlib a disaster area, stressing the need to deal with it accordingly, and added: “This does not absolve the international community and the guarantor states from their responsibilities, which must not be assumed through reaching a short-term truce but by the establishment of a nationwide ceasefire.
Al-Hariri also talked about the meetings recently being held by the independent figures in Riyadh as he emphasized the vital role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a regional, pivotal state. He added that no one can deny the Kingdom’s support for the Syrian people in all areas.
He pointed out that key components of the Syrian Negotiations Commission objected to the mechanism under which those meetings took place. He indicated that those objections came in accordance with a legal principle as there is no any legal basis for holding such meetings. He noted that these meetings needed consultation, coordination and involvement of all the Syrian parties with the aim of ensuring a broader representation, which will be in the interest of the Syrian people and their cause.
Moreover, Al-Hariri pointed out that the meetings were hastily held at a time when the attention of the world is directed to the Constitutional Committee. He stressed that this will negatively affect the Commission’s work, adding that the holding of these meetings came at a time when a humanitarian disaster is unfolding in Idlib. “The number one priority should be to address the situation in Idlib and help civilians being affected by the brutal bombing.”
“One of the objections stated that the list of invitees to the meeting did not contain any personality from the liberated areas,” Al-Hariri said, adding that “many of the personalities were not independent, but affiliated with political blocs and parties. The list of invitees was dominated by the language of nepotism, favoritism, relatives, and personal interests.”
“This evoked anxiety and gave the impression that the aim of the meeting was to increase the representation of certain political components at the expense of other components of the Commission.”
“Hosting the opposition differs from the making of an opposition. The Syrian opposition must have a major role in preparing and arranging meetings. We can only be Syrians. Our approach to any issue stems from how this step will beneficial to the revolution and the interests of Syrian people.”
Al Hariri went on: “We will not accept or wish to be part of any axis,” expressing his hope “that all axes will keep the Syrian people away from political squabbling.”
“We have reservations over the mechanism of holding the meetings, not over the list of invitees. The components of the Commission, therefore, believes that it is not concerned with these meetings nor will it accept their results.”
Al-Hariri warned against the defragmentation of the Syrian opposition as threatening the work of the long-awaited Constitutional Committee in addition to giving the Assad regime a pretext to disrupt its work, which will threaten the political process as a whole.”
He asked the Kingdom and its “wise leadership, HE the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs to consider the points that he raised as well as to remember the tragedy of the Syrian people and to look for a way out through calm diplomatic dialogue aimed at overcoming this issue.”
“Protecting the opposition against disunity is at the hands of our brothers in the Kingdom,” he said, stressing that the Syrian opposition must not to be brought back to years of divisions and tensions. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)