President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Nasr al-Hariri, met with the Dutch special envoy to Syria, Emiel de Bont, and his team at the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul, and discussed with him the latest developments in Syria.
The meeting brought together SOC’s Vice-president Ruba Habboush and Coordinator of the SOC’s Department of Foreign Relations Abdulahad Asteipho.
The two sides discussed the situation in Syria in light of the current regional and international developments. Al-Hariri said that many obstacles are facing the Syrian people to achieve their aspirations to achieve freedom, dignity and democracy under the current circumstances. He stressed that it is impossible to build a new Syria with the Assad regime in power and the support it receives from Russia, which he said has repeatedly used the veto to prevent aid from reaching around four million Syrian civilians in the liberated areas.
Al-Hariri also stressed the need to achieve progress in the issue of detainees as a confidence-building measure, pointing out that this issue is still stalled due to the international failure to hold accountable the perpetrators of crimes against detainees.
Moreover, Al-Hariri stressed that the most effective card is the recognition of the SOC as a legitimate representative of the opposition by 114 states and by UN Resolution 67/262. He expressed his regret that the SOC has no real representation in international institutions.
Asteipho talked about the unprecedented chaos in international institutions, which he said has caused a change in the United Nations agencies. He denounced the election of the Assad regime as a member of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization although the regime is responsible for targeting and destroying hundreds of hospitals and medical points.
Asteipho pointed out that cutting humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan will further exacerbate their suffering. He also warned of the possible consequences of preventing humanitarian aid for nearly four million people in northern Syria in view of Russia’s threats to use its veto against the renewal of the authorization for the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
For his part, the Dutch envoy stressed the need to give Syrians a real opportunity to decide their fate, stressing that the main reason behind the continued suffering of Syrians is the Assad regime and its crimes against the population.
He stressed the importance of implementing United Nations resolutions on Syria, chief among them is UN Resolution 2254.
He also pointed out that Russia is exploiting the Syrian tragedy in its international conflicts, and using it as a card, which has caused a major humanitarian disaster.
The Dutch diplomat also expressed the importance of renewing the mandate for the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria. He called on international organizations to work on the issue of detainees as there are tens of thousands of detainees and thousands of families who do not know the fate of their loved ones. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)