A delegation of Syrian women from the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) held a number of high-level meetings with senior Italian officials in Rome on Saturday.
The delegation met with Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Secretary of State of the Holy See, Italian MPs, and members of the Community of Sant’Egidio.
The delegation also participated in a panel discussion at the Institute of International Affairs in Rome on the importance of the role of women and civil society in political negotiations. Director of the Institute Ettore Greco said that the Syrian people have been going through immense suffering, stressing that the international community must support the Syrian people to reach a just solution that provides chances for peace.
The delegation emphasized the role of Syrian women in the Geneva process and in the future of Syria, while Italian officials stressed the need for international action to put an end to violence against civilians and to hold violators of human rights to account.
The delegation highlighted the tragic situation endured by people in besieged areas across Syria as well as the suffering of detainees in Assad’s prisons who are subject to brutal torture and large-scale abuses.
The delegation made it clear that the Assad regime’s repeated violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement undermine the credibility of the whole political process. They called for establishing mechanisms to hold violators of the truce to account so that the negotiating process can be put back on track.
The delegation also visited the Vatican where they met with the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States Paul Gallagher.
The delegation stressed the need for the international community to take a firm position towards the Assad regime’s violations of international resolutions, calling for immediate action to lift the blockades on all besieged areas across Syria. The delegation also called for launching airdrops of relief aid to besieged areas without the consent of the Assad regime, stressing that this must be achieved in conjunction with providing appropriate conditions for meaningful negotiations in Geneva. (Source: Syrian Coalition)