President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) Salem Al-Meslet held a panel discussion with journalists in the Turkish city of Istanbul following the series of meetings that the SOC’s delegation held in New York, Washington and Ankara.
The panel brought together a host of media professionals and journalists from various Syrian, Arab and Turkish media institutions to learn about the results of the political tours that the joint delegation of the SOC and Syrian Negotiations Commission held in the United States. The delegation met with officials and politicians in New York on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly as well as with officials at the White House, the US State Department and Congress in Washington, as well as the meetings that the SOC’s delegation held with Turkish officials in Ankara.
Al-Meslet made it clear that he called on the United States to be at the same distance from all components in the eastern Euphrates region.
Al-Meslet said: “During our meetings with US officials in Washington, we felt the US administration’s refusal to normalize relations with the Assad regime and commitment to the continuation of sanctions on the regime.”
He added: The Syrian issue moves mainly from Washington which has the biggest influence in the region in general. The pressure comes from members of the US Congress and the media in cooperation with the Syrian community in the US to support our cause. Stepping up cooperation with Ankara will reflect positively for the Syrian people.”
With regard to eastern Syria, Al-Meslet said: “We stressed the need for US-Turkish coordination on Syria, and that the region must be administered by its people.”
Al-Meslet stressed that the SOC’s commitment to political path and negotiations in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations aim to reach a political transition, rather than engaging in endless negotiations.”
With regard to the international interaction with the Syrian conflict, Al-Meslet said: International interest in the Syrian issue is no longer the same as in the past. For some foreign states, the issue has been reduced to mere humanitarian issue, not a political one. Our visits were important and contributed to correcting this trend and emphasizing that the basis of our cause is a popular revolution against a tyrannical regime.”
Al-Meslet added that a new session of the Constitutional Committee had been scheduled, and said: “We noticed in our meeting with the UN mediator Geir Pedersen that he is complaining from the Assad regime’s intransigence and procrastination.”
Moreover, Al-Meslet pointed out that the UN Secretary-General was asked to treat Syrians in the same way as their Palestinian brothers, by issuing travel documents to protect Syrians from blackmail by the Assad regime.
Regarding the recent bids by some Arab states to normalize relations with the Assad regime, Al-Meslet said: “Unfortunately, the decisions some Arab states take are dictated by Iran.” He stressed that it is not possible to justify legitimizing the criminal regime and justifying the restoration of relations with it whatever the circumstances. The regime has made Syria one of the poorest and most miserable in the world. Any restoration of relations with it will be in the interest of the Iranian schemes, and will only result in more crimes against the Syrian people.”
Al-Meslet commended the sisterly Arab states’ commitment to their principled stance, chief among them is Saudi Arabia, against normalization of ties with the Assad regime. He expressed his hope for close Arab-Saudi-Turkish cooperation that contributes positively to supporting the Syrian people and their just demands.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)