The Syrian opposition delegation to New York met with a number of western officials on the sidelines of the 71st UN General Assembly meeting on Tuesday. The opposition’s delegation, which included President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah and General Coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riad Hijab, called on the western officials to provide protection for civilians and put an end to the Assad regime’s mass forced displacement policy against residents of the besieged areas.
During a meeting with French President Francois Hollande Tuesday evening, Alabdah said that the Assad regime and its allies have shown the utmost disrespect for international resolutions and have been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian people.
Hijab called upon the French leadership to play a more active role in providing civilian protection in light of the Assad regime’s besiegement and starvation of Syrian civilians, especially in Aleppo and the districts of Moadamiya and Alwaer. He lauded France’s support for the vision for political solution the HNC laid out in London in early September.
Hijab pointed out that the Free Syrian Army is the only force capable of effectively fighting terrorism and defending the Syrian people, citing the spectacular gains being made by the FSA groups against ISIS in northern rural Aleppo.
President Hollande reaffirmed his country’s support for the Syrian opposition and its roadmap for a political solution, making clear France’s support for the struggle of the Syrian people to build a democratic state.
The Syrian opposition’s delegation also met with Denmark’s Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen in New York to discuss the opposition’s roadmap for political transition in Syria. The delegation pointed out that the roadmap includes the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers and should begin with the departure of Assad and everyone with blood on their hands.
The opposition’s delegation also met with Canada’s Foreign Minister Stephane Dion and called on Canada to engage more actively in the efforts aimed at reaching a solution in Syria. The delegation called for accountability for violations of the truce.
The Canadian foreign minister commended the opposition’s vision for a solution, describing it as a precise plan for political transition. (Source: Syrian Coalition)