President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with Mr. Joel Rayburn, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria in the U.S. State Department and discussed with him the Assad regime forces’ latest deadly attacks against civilians in several parts of rural Idlib.
President Mustafa stressed the importance of accountability for war crimes as an essential part of the political process that was set out in international resolutions on Syria, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. He called on the United States and its allies to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime to force it to respect the Idlib ceasefire agreement and engage in the political process.
“What we are seeing on the part of the regime is continued deadly attacks in Khan Sheikhoun and Ma’aret al-Nu’man. It is important to preserve the de-escalation zones agreement. We hope that our allies will continue to exercise pressure on the regime to force it to respect the agreement and ensure it is implemented in full,” President Mustafa said. He continued: “We oppose all terrorist organizations without exception.”
With regards to the course of the political process, President Mustafa explained that the Syrian Coalition continues to support the formation of the Constitutional Committee as a gateway to the political process. “It is important that the Committee meets the United Nations standards and be fair and balanced,” he added. He expressed the hope that the UN resolution 2254 will be implemented in full.
Furthermore, President Mustafa underscored the need for consensus between Turkey and the United States, noting that the Coalition supports reaching a consensus between the two countries. “We are pleased with this consensus and the developments that have taken place since the latest meeting. What is more important for us is that the Assad regime, the Iranians, and terrorist organizations are not allowed to fill the vacuum that will result from the US withdrawal from Syria.”
For his part, Mr. Rayburn condemned the Assad regime’s deadly attacks on Idlib province as he gave a detailed overview of the meetings the US administration has recently held in Washington with countries of the region on the Syrian issue. He pointed out that the talks went well and were constructive as he stressed that “there is a desire by everyone to reach an agreement.”
Mr. Rayburn pointed out that his country believes that it is necessary to establish a safe area that is free from the Assad regime forces and their allies. He went on to say that the withdrawal of US forces from Syria denotes a change in tactics and not a change in the US overall policy. He also stressed that there will be no progress in the reconstruction issue in Syria without reaching a lasting political solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)