President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Salem al-Meslet, received Head of the Department of Africa and Middle East at the Polish Foreign Ministry Patrycja Özcan- Karolewskaat at the SOC’s headquarters in Istanbul. The two sides discussed the latest developments in Syria as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the continued flow of refugees to Poland.
The meeting brought together SOC’s Vice-president Abdul Hakim Bashar, members of the political committee Salwa Aksoy and Basma Mohammed, Polish Deputy Ambassador to Ankara Radoslaw Sadowski, and advisor to the Polish Consulate General in Istanbul, Dariusz Gumieniczek.
Al-Meslet thanked Poland for its firm stance on holding the Assad regime accountable for the crimes against the Syrian people and its use of chemical weapons as Poland was one of the six European countries that demanded the regime be held accountable for its use of chemical weapons in May 2020.
Al-Meslet pointed out that the Ukrainian people are now enduring the same suffering that the Syrian people have been subjected to for over 11 years. He stressed the need for a unified position by the international community and the countries that suffer from the Russian aggression in order to confront Putin’s crimes.
Moreover, Al-Meslet stressed that Putin will not stop in Syria and Ukraine, stressing the need to rethink the strategy that allowed him to undermine all international norms and laws.
He also stressed that the Assad regime’s siding with Russia in its war on Ukraine is rejected by all the Syrian people who have expressed their solidarity with the Ukrainian people on many occasions, adding that the Syrian people refuse to engage in any military actions against Ukraine.
He pointed out that the SOC is well aware of the crisis that Poland is experiencing as a result of this unjust war and its hosting of millions of Ukrainian refugees.
He made it clear that the situation in Syria is still complicated due to the Assad regime’s insistence on pursuing a bloody military approach with the support of the Russian and Iranian occupiers. He added that the recent meetings of the Constitutional Committee ended without reaching tangible result like the previous ones due to the Assad regime’s intransigence and refusal to engage seriously in the Committee’s work.
Al-Meslet called for a unified international stance towards the crimes being committed against the Syrian and Ukrainian peoples, and to provide the Syrian political and military forces with the same support being sent to Ukraine.
He stressed the need to work to push the political process forward to achieve a genuine political transition in accordance with UN resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolutions 2118 and 2254. He also called for delegitimizing the Assad regime and expelling its representative from the United Nations.
For her part, Karolewskaat reaffirmed her country’s commitment to the position of the European Union towards Syria, stressing that the political solution is the only solution in Syria. She stressed Poland’s rejection of the normalization of relations with the Assad regime or the contribution to reconstruction.
She expressed her regret over what is happening in Syria and also over Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, pointing out that she does not believe that this crisis will end anytime soon.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)