Vice President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Abdel Majeed Barakat, and Coordinator of the Department of Foreign Relations, Abdulahad Astepho, held a meeting with the political advisor for Syria at the French Consulate in Istanbul, Amel Benhagoug. During the meeting, they discussed the latest developments in the field and the political situation in Syria.
The SOC’s Secretary of the political body, Abdel Baset Abdel Latif, and committee members Munther Sarras and Abdullah Kaddo, also joined the meeting.
Barakat spoke about the recent field visits made by the SOC to various towns in the liberated areas and their meetings with those in charge of the service and executive institutions affiliated with the Syrian Interim Government. They also engaged with revolutionary bodies, youth and student associations, and local notables.
Barakat stressed that the visits received positive reactions and a strong desire to improve the reality of the liberated areas. The aim is to support the work of the SOC in revitalizing the political process and implementing UN resolutions to reach a political solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people and allows the return of displaced and refugees to their regions and homes.
Barakat pointed out that there is a genuine effort by the SOC, through its executive institutions led by the Syrian Interim Government, to maintain control over the military situation in the liberated areas. This is coupled with improved security stability, following a decrease in crime and terrorist attacks due to the security policies pursued by the Ministry of Defense within the Syrian Interim Government.
Barakat explained that the new presidential body and political committee are working on a strategy divided into two parts. The first part is political, focusing on supporting the negotiation process and the work of the Constitutional Committee to keep the Syrian issue on the international agenda. The SOC aims to strengthen coordination with countries that support the Syrian people, particularly France.
Barakat added that the second part of the strategy is service-oriented, with the aim of supporting the work of the Syrian Interim Government, empowering it, supporting civil groups, and expanding cooperation with them.
Barakat called for a balance in support provided to the political opposition and civil society organizations. He stressed that assessing the impact of the support provided by the European Union to civil society organizations should involve the SOC.
Meanwhile, Astepho discussed the challenging conditions in the Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn regions, east of the Euphrates, due to the siege imposed on them. He highlighted the difficulties faced by the education, health, and agriculture sectors in these regions, which lack necessary support. Despite limited capabilities, the Syrian Interim Government has made efforts to market agricultural crops.
Astepho called for international organizations to support institutions and civil society organizations in the Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn regions, emphasizing the SOC’s readiness to compile a list of the needs of civilians in those areas.
In his remarks, Sarras addressed the situation in the city of Idlib, particularly after the military escalation carried out by the Assad regime and its supporters against civilians in recent weeks. Sarras pointed out that numerous international aid organizations operate in areas classified as terrorist-controlled regions, while these organizations are conspicuously absent from the Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn areas. He considered this a double standard that lacks a reasonable explanation.
Abdel Latif provided an overview of the role of the Ministry of Defense in the Syrian Interim Government, which has been extending security control over the liberated areas. He noted that the Ministry has conducted numerous intensive training courses for members of the Syrian National Army in international law and human rights.
Amel Benhagoug, the political advisor for Syria at the French Consulate, reiterated her country’s continued support for the demands of the Syrian people and their aspirations for freedom and dignity. She pointed out that France has supported the demands of the SOC in the UN Security Council and in Geneva to stop the military escalation against civilians in northern Syria.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)