The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Office of Studies and Documents and the Department of Strategic Consultation held a workshop on the “step-by-step” approach which the UN Envoy Geir Pedersen has recently proposed for solution in Syria. Participants included members of the SOC, its representatives and foreign missions.
Participants discussed the UN envoy’s latest briefing before the UN Security Council, the framework of the approach and the ideas it carries, and its possible impact on the political process in Syria.
Coordinator of the Office of Studies and Documents, Riyad Al-Hassan, said: “The participants saw the approach as submission to the Russian and Iranian blackmail as well as a reward for the Assad regime for disrupting the political solution and threatening regional and international security.”
“Iran is spreading chaos in the region and threatening its security. It is also seeking to use Syria as a bargaining chip in the nuclear program negotiations. Meanwhile, Russia is using Syria to restore its international status as a superpower and blackmail the NATO members. Russia is also using Syria as a bargaining chip in the Ukraine issue and other outstanding issues with the West.”
Moreover, participants saw the “step-by-step” approach as a desperate measure following eight rounds of negotiations in Geneva over a period of four years, then six sessions of the Constitutional Committee that took another four years, in addition to 17 rounds of talks in Astana. They pointed out that the Assad regime violated all the agreements reached during these meetings and sessions.
This approach is based on bartering humanitarian issues that are originally not subject to negotiations, but the regime has consistently rejected them, with only two political issues that the UN envoy spoke about in his briefing: First, Russia’s approval to extend the UN resolution 2585 on the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid; second, imploring the regime to agree to attend the 7th session of the Constitutional Committee.
Coordinator of the Department of Strategic Consultations, Ahmed Ramadan, said that the discussions noted that the initial application of this approach produced opposite results, such as the return of the regime to international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
“Instead of investing this return in the provision of vaccines, improving healthcare, and rehabilitating drug factories, the regime built narcotics factories that are flooding global markets with illicit drugs. It also exploits its return to Interpol to hunt down Syrian refugees who fled its brutality and political opponents who stood in the face of tyranny and dictatorship prevailing in the country for over five decades,” Ramadan added.
Participants made it clear that the UN envoy did not dare to name the party disrupting the Constitutional Committee, which endangers the credibility of the entire international organization. They called on the UN envoy to stop deceiving the UN Security Council, and to expose the regime’s disruption of the political process and its refusal to implement UN resolutions.
Ramadan concluded by saying that the workshop came out with a set of recommendations, most notably the reaffirmation of the need for the UN envoy to open all the tracks laid out in UN resolution 2254 and not limit his work to the Constitutional Committee. They also reaffirmed the need to implement all UN resolutions to reach a political solution that achieves the aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom, dignity and democracy.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)