Nasser Al-Hariri, head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, called on countries comprising the Small Group on Syria to exert real pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to force them to implement the international resolutions calling for bringing about a comprehensive political transition in Syria. He stressed the need to put an end to the Assad regime’s vengeful, repressive practices against civilians, especially its repeated violations of the Idlib Agreement.
Hariri made these remarks during a meeting of the Small Group in Washington. The Groups is composed of the United States, Greta Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.
Hariri reiterated the Commission’s commitment to a political solution in Syria through the implementation of the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254 in the UN-facilitated process. He pointed out that pursuing a military solution by any party would only exacerbate the bloodshed and destroy the future of the Syrian people.
Hariri noted that the issue of detainees is the most important and most sensitive for Syrians, stressing that it should not be subject to negotiations.
“If we want to give credibility to any international efforts, this issue must be given special attention and be addressed under the auspices of the United Nations in accordance with the rules of international law so as to ensure that perpetrators of violations are held accountable.”
Hariri warned of Iran’s growing threat in Syria, stressing that Tehran is pursuing policies aimed at the smooth, persistent infiltration of all state institutions and segments of the Syrian society. He noted that Iran is now intervening in political, military, security, economic, social and cultural life in Syria, especially in southern Syrian and southern Damascus to accomplish its dream of establishing a land route linking Tehran with southern Lebanon.
Iran has recently established more than 52 military bases in southern Syria and founded security cells, eight religious centers and five universities, Hariri said. He added that Iran is avidly seeking to change the beliefs of the local population and their religion through various methods, including through encouragement and intimidation.
With regards to the Assad regime’s increasing violations of the Idlib agreement, Hariri said that the agreement is still holding. He noted that the Free Syrian Army continues, through continued coordination with the Turkish authorities which has been playing a major role in preserving the ‘de-escalation zone’ agreement in this region, is committed to the agreement. The Assad regime and terrorist organizations, meanwhile, have committed countless violations of the agreement at the instigation of Iran which is seeking to find pretexts for a military campaign in the region.”
Hariri pointed out that the Turkish efforts with regards to the ‘de-escalations zones’ agreement in northern Syria and the international efforts in the Small Group have sent a clear message to the Assad regime and its allies. “They sent a message that pursuing a military solution is no longer tenable and that the launch of a political process to save Syria and its people, independence, unity and sovereignty is inevitable.”
The Assad regime continues to commit violations in all the areas under its control, Hariri said, adding that the regime is taking revenge against the population. He stressed that without a peaceful, safe and neutral environment provided by a transitional government, there will be no chance for any constitution to see the light, nor will fair elections take place.”
He said attempts at normalization of relations with the regime by some parties and states “are in fact a normalization with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Hezbollah Militia, and a mafia clan that is involved in crimes and terrorism in Syria. He warned that such attempts will distance the regime from a political solution by reinforcing its sense of achieving victory.”
Hariri concluded his remarks by saying that international and international efforts are continuing to overcome the obstacles that the regime and its allies are putting in the way of forming the constitutional committee under the auspices of the UN. He pointed out if these efforts succeed, this may be the beginning of a political process leading to a sustainable political solution that brings security, stability and peace to Syria, the region and beyond. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)