President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Salem al-Meslet, received the French ambassador, Herve Magro, at the SOC’s headquarters in Istanbul on Wednesday. In attendance were also SOC’s Vice-president Ruba Habboush and Secretary-General Haitham Rahma. The two sides discussed the latest political and field developments and the course of the political process.
Al-Meslet commended France’s role in supporting the Syrian people’s rightful demands and their struggle against tyranny. He stressed the importance of the French and European Union’s role in supporting the political process and political transition in Syria, as well as in supporting accountability for war crimes in Syria.
For his part, Mr. Magro reaffirmed his country’s continued support for the cause of the Syrian people and meeting their legitimate aspirations for freedom and dignity. He stressed that a political solution can only be reached through the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, especially Resolution 2254. He also stressed the need to put forward practical proposals to revitalize the political process in Syria.
Mr. Magro indicated that the current strategy of the French government rests on three main pillars: maintaining the EU’s firm position with regard to the issue of reconstruction, persuading the United States to establish mechanisms for implementing UN resolutions, and sending messages to Arab states warning against restoring relations and normalization with the Assad regime.
Al-Meslet called on France and the European Union to provide international and actual support for the release of thousands of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime, especially women and children. He stressed that the release of detainees from the prisons of the Assad regime is a top priority. He added that it is no longer a secret today the magnitude of the Assad regime’s brutality against detainees, especially following the publication of Caesar’s photos of detainees who died under torture.
Rahma highlighted the importance of the support that the French government is providing to the Syrian people and their just cause, stressing that the solution in Syria cannot be achieved through the rehabilitation of the Assad regime, but through implementing UN Resolution 2254.
The two sides also discussed various issues, including the Assad regime’s intransigence and its insistence on disrupting the political process. They agreed on the need for the French government to step up its engagement in Syria in order to start opening all tracks of the political process and to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime’s allies to ensure full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, most importantly UN Resolution 2254.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)