The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) political committee held its regular meeting to discuss the latest developments on the ground and in the political process in Syria. Participants in the meeting included SOC’s President, Salem Al-Meslet, and several members of the General Assembly.
Al-Meslet gave an overview on the activities he carried out over the past week, which included a visit to Geneva and a meeting with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State who reiterated the United States’ calls for the continuation of the political process and the importance of the Constitutional Committee making progress in its sixth session. He also expressed the United States’ rejection of the Interpol’s decision to reopen its office in Damascus and the bids for the normalization of ties with the regime.
Al-Meslet also spoke about his meeting with Turkish officials in Geneva. The Turkish officials commended the SOC’s visit to the United States, stressing the importance of activating the Washington office and stepping up visits to European capitals. He also talked about the meeting with Qatari officials who stressed the importance of proceeding in the political process. The two sides discussed the dire consequences of legitimizing the Assad regime as well as the situation of the SOC’s Embassy in Qatar.
Moreover, Al-Meslet said that the SOC sent letters to the foreign ministers of friendly and sisterly states urging action to reverse the Interpol’s recent decision to resume cooperation with the Assad regime.
Vice-president Abdul Hakim Bashar spoke about the importance of looking into complaints about taxes being imposed on the olive crop. He also raised the issue of Syrian teachers in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the lack of schools, and the problem of Syrian Kurdish students who demand to study curricula in the Arabic language.
Vice-president Abdulahad Astepho also gave an overview on his work over the past week, which included efforts to confront the Interpol’s recent decision to reopen its office in Damascus, and preparations for visiting France and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Astepho stressed the need to improve relations with East Asian countries, especially Malaysia, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and to seek to participate in its upcoming conference.
SOC’s Secretary-General, Haitham Rahma, also spoke about the work of the General Secretariat and the start of preparations for the 59th session of the General Assembly. He also reviewed the report that was submitted by the Assistance Coordination Unit on the winter needs in the IDP camps in northern Syria.
Participants discussed the results of the sixth session of the Constitutional Committee, the prospects for the political process, and the SOC’s options to implement UN resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolutions 2118 and 2254.
The SOC’s departments, offices, and committees also submitted their reports to the political committee. The Refugee office highlighted the situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon in light of the economic crisis in Lebanon, where most of the refugees depend on UN aid, the distribution of which is marred by various shortcomings.
Participants also reviewed the work of the committee to amend the SOC’s bylaw, the visit of the National Dialogue Committee to the liberated areas, and the activities of the Education and Universities Committee.
The political committee put forth a set of recommendations and proposals, including looking into complaints submitted by farmers, assessing the situation in the liberated areas, and holding a workshop to discuss the political process in general next week.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)