Hadi Al-Bahra, President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), recently convened with a group of Syrian journalists to address the latest field and political developments within Syria, as well as to elucidate the SOC’s forthcoming plan of action and its vision for the upcoming phase. The meeting was attended by Vice-Presidents Abdel Majeed Barakat and Dima Moussa, Secretary-General Haytham Rahmeh, and various members of the political committee.
The gathering commenced with a minute of silence as a tribute to the innocent civilian victims.
Al-Bahra began by highlighting the recent ground developments, particularly the attacks targeting civilians in several northwestern Syrian regions, resulting in numerous casualties. He also mentioned the attack on the Military College in Homs during a regime officers’ graduation ceremony last Thursday, which claimed the lives of many civilians. Al-Bahra emphasized that these attacks bear the unmistakable signature of the Assad regime and the foreign militias supporting it.
Turning to the plight of Syrian refugees in host countries, Al-Bahra expressed concern about the increasing discrimination against them in recent months, especially in neighboring countries. He disclosed his efforts to engage with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and communicate with representatives of various countries. Most notably, he recently engaged with the French envoy to Syria, urging her to diplomatically address these violations, especially in light of the Lebanese government’s decisions that have sanctioned discriminatory practices and exacerbated violations against Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Al-Bahra also shed light on racist attacks against Syrian refugees by extremists in Turkey, noting that the SOC is in ongoing communication with the Turkish government, which has taken responsive measures.
In outlining the SOC’s work program for the next phase, Al-Bahra stressed the importance of maintaining Geneva as the venue for the UN-sponsored political process. He underscored the need to insist on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2254 and 2118, while keeping the Syrian issue in the international spotlight, especially at the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, as these forums offer vital platforms to address the Syrian people’s aspirations and demands.
Furthermore, Al-Bahra called for elevating the priority of Syria on the agendas of all international parties, given the multitude of global crises. He emphasized the significance of transforming the Syrian reality by enhancing the legitimacy of the SOC on the ground, fostering openness and dialogue with Syrians across all regions, and supporting peaceful anti-regime movements throughout the country that seek to implement UN resolutions and facilitate political transition.
Al-Bahra commended the anti-regime protests in Suwayda for their leaders’ wisdom, patriotism, clear political discourse, and commitment to Syrian unity.
He stressed that the next phase must be characterized by collaboration and synergy among all revolution institutions, associations, unions, and civil society organizations. He emphasized the necessity of harnessing the experiences of Syrian men and women to leverage all available resources, particularly human capital, to transform the Syrian reality and address challenges while enhancing living conditions in northwestern Syria.
Al-Bahra articulated the need for a comprehensive plan to advance northwestern Syria, encompassing governance systems in the judicial, legal, security, and economic domains. This plan would improve health and education services, resolve the recognition issues surrounding university degrees issued by liberated-area universities, and bolster support for small loan programs. These efforts would be facilitated through the Syria Recovery Trust Fund, co-founded by the SOC, which also chairs its board of directors. Additionally, the fund benefits the Syrian Interim Government in providing enhanced services to citizens and supporting cooperative agricultural projects, including initiatives aiding vegetable, potato, and wheat farmers and livestock breeders. The aim is to secure high-quality and affordable bread production through mills and bakeries affiliated with the SIG’s General Foundation of Grain, while addressing chronic problems in water resources, water distribution, and sanitation networks in Al-Bab. Similar projects have commenced in Azaz and Jarabulus and several surrounding towns, with the objective of improving living conditions and encouraging the return of residents.
Concluding his address, Al-Bahra called upon all stakeholders to unite, coordinate, and collaborate in meeting the demands of the Syrian people, emphasizing the necessity of presenting a model for the future Syria that aligns with their collective aspirations.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)