President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Salem Al-Meslet received a British delegation and discussed with them the latest on the ground and political developments.
The meeting brought together SOC’s Vice-president Abdulahad Asteipho and Ruba Habboush, Secretary-General Haitham Rahma, the SOC’s representative in Britain Bahia Mardini, and political officers in the UK Syria Office Sophie Newman and Sam Gibb.
Al-Meslet talked about the seriousness of the situation in both Syria’s north and south as a result of the military escalation by the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian backers. He said that rural Idlib has been subjected to daily attacks that have claimed the lives of dozens of civilians. He also talked about the regime’s ongoing assault on Dara’a, the blockade on more 50,000 civilians, and the threat of a new crime of displacement.
Moreover, Al-Meslet stressed the importance of Britain’s role and its international weight in ensuring an end to terrorist attacks against civilians. He stressed the need for major actors in the international community to take action to save the people of Dara’a, especially as the living conditions are rapidly deteriorating due to the tightened blockade and the escalating attacks against civilians.
Al-Meslet highlighted the situation in the liberated areas as he stressed the need for international support for the Syrian Interim Government to empower its institutions, especially in the areas of education and health. He said that the Covid-19 pandemic is still in full force and that many children do not have access to education.
The Assad regime still insists on pursuing a military solution and showing total disregard for the political process, al-Meslet said. He cited the Assad regime’s fraudulent elections that were supposed to take place after the drafting of a new constitution and the provision of a safe and stable environment for free and fair elections.
Furthermore, al-Meslet reaffirmed its commitment to political transition towards a civil democratic state that guarantees freedom, dignity and justice for all its citizens away from autocracy and suppression by security forces.
Vice-president Asteipho spoke about the importance of sanctions on the Assad regime to force it to engage in the political process, calling for coordination among the teams working on the sanctions list in Britain, the United States and the European Union.
Vice-president Ruba Habboush gave an overview on the Syrian Women’s Commission and its goals of empowering Syrian women and engaging them in decision-making.
Habboush spoke about the role of the Commission in the liberated areas and its political, human rights and media sub-committees. She stressed that one of the Commission’s goals is to qualify women to assume their role in all fields.
Rahma highlighted the importance of the work of the Constitutional Committee in drafting a new constitution for the country and then providing a safe and neutral environment for the holding of fair elections under the UN supervision.
Rahma added that the Assad regime is yet to seriously engage in the work of the Constitutional Committee, which requires international pressure to set a clear timetable for the work of the Committee. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)