A senior delegation from the Syrian Coalition headed by President Abdurrahman Mustafa on Tuesday met with the United States’ Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey and his accompanying delegation. Both sides discussed the implementation of the Idlib Agreement and the importance of protecting civilians and the reinvigoration of the UN-led political process.
President Mustafa reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to supporting the UN-led efforts in Syria. He said: “We supported the decision of the Syrian Negotiations Commission to engage positively in the work of the constitutional committee to be formed by the United Nations.”
President Mustafa stressed that the work of the constitutional committee under the auspices of the United Nations is an integral part of the constitutional process. He pointed out that its results will boost the negotiating process, stressing the need to launch the work on the four baskets concurrently and ensure progress in the baskets of governance, political transition, and elections.
With regards to the Idlib agreement, President Mustafa said that the agreement is a positive step, praising the important role of Turkey in the agreement and the strong international position supporting it. He expressed his hope that the international community will contribute to the development of the Idlib agreement to reach a nationwide ceasefire. He noted that during his recent visit to the buffer zone, he saw how “our fighters were on full alert to repel any Assad regime attempt to attack the province.”
The Syrian Coalition “expects from our friends further political and diplomatic moves towards engaging in an integrated political process leading to the realization of the demands and aspirations of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity.”
President Mustafa underscored the need to give priority to detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime. He said: “We cannot accept their use as a bargaining chip. This is a humanitarian issue that should not be subject to negotiation. The silence on the Assad regime’s crimes and violations must come to an end. We hope that steps would be taken to stop the torture and death in the prisons of the Assad regime and save the remaining detainees as soon as possible.”
Furthermore, President Mustafa called for accountability for all war crimes, including crimes resulting from the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and mass forced displacement. He also called for a tougher stance against the Assad regime, stressing that “it is the responsibility of everyone to stop these violations.”
He also stressed the need for an increased international momentum on Syria to pave the way for comprehensive political transition; the implementation of international resolutions on political transition; and the formation of a transitional governing body. He also underscored the need to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime to honor its political obligations in accordance with the Geneva Communique and UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
As for Al-Rukban camp, President Mustafa Coalition called for an end to the blockade imposed by the regime on the camp and the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians trapped inside. “It is a pressing issue and we hope that aid will reach them as soon as possible,” he said.
He also stressed that reconstruction does not mean stability, but is linked to the elimination of terrorist militias and holding those involved in war crimes to account.
“The Syrian people still nourish hope that the international community will provide the appropriate environment to help them achieve their aspirations for freedom and dignity. The international will should remain steadfast in holding war criminals accountable and not allowing them to continue these despicable acts with impunity.”
For his part, the US envoy reasserted his country’s continued commitment to a political solution in Syria in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254. He emphasized that this solution must lead to a safe, stable, and pluralistic Syria, adding that it must not be a state sponsor of terrorism threatening its neighbors and must get rid of the Iranian-led militias.
Jeffrey also reaffirmed full support for the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and the efforts of the UN Special Envoy to Syrian Staffan de Mistura to establish the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible.
Jeffrey pointed out that Washington considers that any military attack on Idlib would represent a reckless escalation in Syria and the region and will endanger the lives of Syrian civilians and destroy civilian infrastructure. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)