A delegation from the Syrian Coalition visited the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital Brussels on Wednesday and met with a number of European officials in charge of the Syrian issue. The delegation met with Mr. Marc Otte, the Belgian Foreign Envoy to Syria, the Middle East and North Africa, and Mr. Johan Verkammen, Director Middle East and North Africa at the Belgian Foreign Ministry.
The Coalition’s delegation included representatives of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), local councils, and Syrian civil society organizations. Participants in the meetings discussed the importance of supporting SIG’s institutions and projects as such support will be important in strengthening the position of the Syrian opposition in the political process.
Tabled for discussion was also the latest developments in the political process. The Coalition’s delegation, which included Vice-president Dima Moussa and Head of the Coalition’s Department of Foreign Affairs Abdul-Ahad Steifo, stressed the importance of continued support for efforts in the issue of human rights and accountability in Syria. They also underscored the importance of activating the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to ensure that perpetrators of war crimes in Syria are held accountable.
Moussa said that people in the liberated areas are in need for active, solid support especially after the Assad regime and its allies destroyed most healthcare, educational, services and judicial facilities and institutions. She stressed that the rehabilitation of these institutions will help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and lay the groundwork for civil, democratic work.
Moreover, Moussa underscored that Law No. 10 recently issued by the Assad regime is aimed at consolidating the mass forced displacement and demographic change in Syria. The new legalization risks discouraging Syrian refugees and displaced people from returning to their homes, she added.
Moussa called on the European Union to support efforts for the release of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. She noted that arbitrary detention violates international law and international humanitarian law as well as constitutes one of the gravest war crimes the Assad regime is committing in Syria.
The participation of representatives of the Syrian Interim Government and civil society organizations had positive, important impact in the meetings as it helped clarify the major challenges and difficulties facing the activation of services institutions in the liberated areas, Moussa said. She added that this participation also helped highlight the most urgent needs of the large numbers of people who were forcibly displaced in Syria’s north. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)