As part of a European tour to mobilize support for the Syrian people, a delegation of the Syrian National Coalition met a high-level delegation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. The Italian officials included Luca Gori, Director of the Mediterranean and the Middle East Department in the Italian Foreign Ministry and Paolo Dionisi, Italian Special Envoy for Syria.
The two sides discussed the dire humanitarian conditions in Syria, especially in Idlib as a result of the onslaught the Assad regime and Russian forces have unleased in the province since late April.
The Coalition President Anas al-Abda stressed the need for Italy and other friends of the Syrian people to work on ending the bombardment of civilian facilities such as healthcare centers, schools, and public markets. He pointed out that the international community and its active members are obliged to take concrete measures to protect civilians in accordance with their responsibilities.
President al-Abda attributed the refugee crisis to the Assad regime’s continued crimes against civilians, warning of a fresh wave of refugees if the shelling on Idlib does not stop, humanitarian assistance to the IDPs is not urgently provided, and a suitable environment for their return to their places of origin is not created.
Moreover, President al-Abda stressed that the Assad regime and its allies’ continued procrastination with regards to the implementation of international resolutions and the insistence on pursuing a bloody military solution means the humanitarian crisis in Syria will drag on for years to come. He also underscored the need to resume the political process and reach a political solution in accordance with international resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
For their part, officials of the Italian Foreign Ministry stressed the importance of the revitalization of the political process and of the parties sitting at the negotiating table.
The officials also stressed the need for genuine confidence-building measures. The Coalition delegation said that these measures should include real progress in the issue of detainees and the establishment of a safe, neutral environment for the safe and voluntary return of refugees. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)