President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Nasr al-Hariri, sent a letter to the EU’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, in which he recalled the six-point strategy that the EU adopted for Syria back in 2017.
Al-Hariri said that the strategy has set a top priority to end the war “through a genuine political transition” in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254, and to support the resilience of the Syrian population and Syrian society through the provision of education, job creation, support for local civilian governance structures in opposition held areas, including by working with the Syrian Interim Government (SIG).
He pointed out that “SIG serves as the executive arm of the SOC in the liberated areas across Syria. Its primary task is to provide basic services and manage the affairs of the civilian population to achieve stability and lay the foundations for a state of justice with equal rights for all citizens.”
“Despite the enormous obstacles and hardships and scarcity of resources and insufficient support facing it, the SIG established a foothold inside Syria through the provision of basic services to citizens and the preservation of state institutions in the liberated areas. It is sparing no effort to repair and revamp vital institutions to restore life to normality, including services in major sectors such as health, security, education, and higher education.”
Al-Hariri stressed SIG’s important role in the Syrian society and in preserving the unity of the Syrian territory. “We focus on supporting the SIG institutions to effectively administer the liberated areas, restore security and provide basic services to the civilian population.”
He called on the EU to step up support for the SIG in order to help restore life to normality in the liberated areas. Over 5 million Syrians are set to benefit from projects developed by the SIG.
“Providing enough support for these projects is crucial to make sure the population does not fall into the snare of terrorist organizations seeking to exploit the needs of civilians to recruit them into their ranks. We stress the importance of supporting projects in the sectors of education, agriculture, justice, and security.”
“In addition, we stress the importance of extending UN Security Council Resolution 2533 (2020) on the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid. We stress the need to send relief aid through the existing four border crossings and add a fifth one in the town of Tal Abyad in Raqqa province to ensure that aid reaches as many people in need as possible.”
Furthermore, al-Hariri stressed “the importance of renewing the UN resolution stems from the urgent need to continue the providing of humanitarian and medical assistance in view of the dire humanitarian and economic conditions as well as the coronavirus crisis.
We express our hope that Russia would not block the renewal of the resolution. Failing to renew the resolution would cause a major humanitarian disaster given the sheer number of the IDP in the liberated areas.”
He called on the European Union, and friendly states of the Syrian people, to take action outside the UN Security Council in order to ensure cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need in Syria.”
“We underscore the importance of the upcoming Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” regarding supporting the resilience of the Syrian people, as we praise the European Union’s refusal to engage in reconstruction until a genuine political solution is reached based on UN resolution 2254.”
He commended the European Union’s decision to renew the sanctions imposed on the Assad regime and stress the importance that the EU and US sanctions do not affect access to humanitarian and medical assistance.
Al-Hariri concluded his letter by stressing that a sustainable political solution in Syria comes only through the formation of a Transitional Governing Body with full executive powers in line with the UN Security Council resolutions, especially the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)