General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Riad Hijab, called for ratcheting up pressure on Russia through “legal, diplomatic, and economic means” to prevent a repeat the Ukraine scenario in Syria and to force Russia to stop the brutal bombardment of Syrian civilians; agree to an unconditional truce; and engage seriously in a political process.
In a meeting with Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the German capital of Berlin on Thursday, Hijab underscored that documenting the crimes the Assad regime and its allies are committing in Syria is crucial to take the necessary legal measures and hold accountable perpetrators of crimes against the Syrian people.
Hijab also called for an investigation into the involvement of United Nations officials in granting multimillion deals to associates of Bashar al-Assad who are sanctioned by the United Nations and the United States.
Furthermore, Hijab noted that statements on Syria made by European countries over the past few days have revived hope in the possibility of holding Assad and his allies accountable for the crimes they are committing in Syria.
Hijab thanked Steinmeier for the firm stance Germany has shown towards the violations committed by the Assad regime and its allies in Aleppo and other Syrian towns and cities. He welcomed remarks made by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel that imposing sanctions on Moscow over Syria should remain an option European leaders need to consider. Hijab expressed hope that Germany will push ahead with new punitive measures against Moscow for its targeting of populated areas in Syria in violation UN Security Council resolution 2254.
For his part, Steinmeier stressed the need to adopt new approaches to put an end to the bloodshed in Syria and to prevent Moscow and Tehran from exploiting the presidential elections in the United States to create a new reality on the ground through military escalation against civilians. (Source: Syrian Coalition)