The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Caesar Act Follow-up Team held a virtual meeting with the Caesar Law Implementation Group at the US State Department in the presence of SOC’s President, Nasr Al-Hariri. The meeting aimed to ensure continued cooperation and coordination regarding the implementation of the sanctions imposed by the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.
The two sides discussed the measures the United States has taken since the Caesar Act took effect on June 17 and the executive regulations of the Act.
They also discussed the new lists that will be issued in the near future as well as attempts by the Assad regime, its backers, and the de facto authorities to evade US and European sanctions.
The two sides emphasized the need to thoroughly study the sanctions lists in order to limit them to the Assad regime, its backers, and the entities and individuals doing business with it. They also stressed the need to make sure that the sanctions do not affect the civilians’ wellbeing.
SOC President made it clear that the implementation of Caesar Act has caused turmoil in the internal structure of the regime, and also in Lebanon, which the regime has used as a haven to evade sanctions and do money laundering, which greatly affected the regime’s apparent cohesion, both among family members and their cronies.
Al-Hariri stressed the importance of continued cooperation between the SOC’s Caesar Act Follow-up Team and the US State Department’s Caesar Law Implementation Group as essential to ensuring the complete implementation of the Act and making use of its outcome in the political process, accountability, and transitional justice so as to ensure real political transition, a lasting internal peace, and regional stability.
Coordinator of the SOC’s Caesar Act Follow-up Team, Abdel Majeed Barakat, talked about the smuggling of weapons and drugs being carried out by the Assad regime between Syria and Lebanon with the help of the Hezbollah militia. He also talked about the regime’s attempts to generate revenue by smuggling drugs to several countries around the world, the latest of which was the shipment that was seized in Italy.
For their part, US officials indicated that the US will announce new sanctions list in the near future, adding that these sanctions still contain exceptions for the humanitarian, relief and medical assistance the Syrian people need.
They indicated that they are coordinating with the European Union regarding the sanctions lists imposed on the Assad regime. They made it clear that the Caesar Act’s primary goal is still to besiege the regime and force it to engage in the political process aimed at reaching a political solution in accordance with UN Resolution 2254. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)