President of the Syrian Coalition, Abdurrahman Mustafa, met with Joel Rayburn, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria in the U.S. State Department and discussed with him the latest political and field developments in Syria.
President Mustafa warned that the Assad regime, its allies and terrorist groups would seek to fill the vacuum that would result from the US withdrawal from Syria as he said this withdrawal needs to be carried out in full coordination with Turkey.
President Mustafa underscored that the terrorist groups in Syria emerged through direct support from the Assad and Iranian regimes. The elimination of these groups requires forcing Iran out of Syria and the implementation of UN resolutions calling for a political solution that must achieve the minimum degree of justice for the Syrian people who have suffered the most heinous crimes over the past seven years.
“As long as the Assad regime is there, we will not be able to fight terrorism or force the Iranian forces out. Achieving these goals requires reaching a political solution, the initiation of an inclusive political process, and the implementation of the relevant international resolutions.”
Furthermore, President Mustafa expressed concern that it would be difficult to get rid of the effects of the Iranian regime which began to infiltrate the social fabric in some areas across Syria. He said that the Iranian regime began to consolidate its influence in Syria through the laws and decrees that the Assad regime has already introduced, such as the new property laws and law No. 10 as well as through the forced displacement and demographic change.
For his part, Rayburn reaffirmed the US administration’s continued support for the Syrian people to help them regain freedom, pointing to continued coordination between the US State Department and the Syrian Coalition and its institutions.
The US diplomat reasserted security along the Syrian-Turkish border and the common interests of the Syrian and Turkish peoples. He also said that there are no changes in the US primary goals in Syria, which include most importantly the defeat of ISIS, curtailing Iran’s role in the region, and advancing the political solution in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254, especially with the start of the mission of the new UN envoy to Syria.
With regard to some countries’ restoration of ties with the Assad regime, Rayburn said that such steps could have negative repercussions. He pointed out that the United States has been consulting with the European Union and the Arab League in this regard.
President Mustafa reaffirmed the need to reinvigorate the political process and push it forward in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. He thanked Mr. Rayburn for inviting the Syrian Coalition’s leadership to visit the United States. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)