President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Nasr Al-Hariri, participated in a lecture and an open discussion on the on the ground and political situation in Syria. The discussion was held by the Qatar-based Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in cooperation with the Syrian Embassy in Doha.
The discussion was moderated by Director of the Center Sultan Barakat. Al-Hariri talked about the latest developments on the ground and in the political process.
Al-Hariri stressed the need to reach a political solution in accordance with UN resolutions, especially Resolution 2254 and the Geneva process, pointing out that the world now knows the party that is obstructing political solution in Syria, which is the Assad regime.
He stressed that the Syrian opposition is ready for political solution in Syria as the only solution, noting that it also has several alternative options to force the Assad regime to submit to the solution. “Time will not be necessarily in favor of the Assad regime,” he said, citing the rapid deterioration of the economic and security conditions in the regime-held areas.
Al-Hariri called on the US administration to engage seriously and press for a political solution in Syria, making it clear that “the Washington has been managing the crisis instead of searching for serious solutions to it.”
Al-Hariri went on to say that the Syrian opposition diverged with the US administration in three points, namely the US support for the PYD militia in northern Syria, its dealing with Iran, and its management of the crisis rather than seeking to reach a solution. He pointed to real fear of reaching a new deal with Iran that it will benefit from it economically as the billions of dollars Iran got from the nuclear deal in 2015 were spent to pop up despotic regimes, including the Assad regime.
Moreover, Al-Hariri pointed to three pillars in working with the new US administration, namely the need for the US strategy to be specific, to be consistent with the major threats in the region, and a strategy that leads to sustainable peace and security in Syria. He warned against dealing with the Syrian conflict as based on the principle of no solution instead of seeking to implement the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Resolution 2254.
Furthermore, Al-Hariri touched on the situation on the ground in Syria, making it clear that the Syrian opposition controls 10 percent of Syrian territory, indicating the possibility of relying on the US to reach a political solution. He also said that the Syrian opposition has strength points, namely the institutions of the revolution that enjoy legal recognition and provide services to citizens. In addition to these, there are regional and international factors, namely the regime’s isolation and the tightened international sanctions imposed on it in response to the crimes it is committing against the Syrian people.
Al-Hariri stressed that the Syrian revolution is still alive and that Assad has not won the war as 42 percent of the Syrian territory is still outside his control.
Moreover, Al-Hariri stressed the rejection of rebuilding Syria before reaching a transitional political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012, stressing that any attempt to rebuild the regime-held areas will be against the Syrian people and their interests.
However, Al-Hariri welcomed the efforts to start rebuilding in northern Syria and the liberated areas where more than five million Syrian citizens live, 55 percent of whom are internally displaced from other areas of Syria.
Al-Hariri concluded his remarks by noting that the Syrian Interim Government in northern Syria, which is being supported by Turkey and Qatar, needs support for its efforts to restore stability and security by providing humanitarian aid and supporting infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and streets. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)