French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Assad’s actions led to the death of over 250,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes. He also said that Russia evidently targets civilians and the moderate armed opposition.
At a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart, Adel al-Jubeir, in Riyadh yesterday, Fabius expressed hope that the unity of Syria is respected and that all Syrians live in peace and security regardless of religion or sect. He called upon the Assad regime to put an end to the siege tactics he is using against civilians.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said: “I consider that no party can impose on the Syrian opposition who will represent it in the scheduled negotiations to be held between them and the Assad regime.”
The High Negotiations Committee formed last December “is the concerned body, and nobody else can impose on them who should represent them” in negotiations with Assad’s regime, Jubeir added.
Yesterday, the Syrian Coalition regretted that Russia is not pressuring the Assad regime to engage in the negotiations in Geneva.
Anas al-Abdah, Secretary of the political body, said today that “Russia has dragged its feet on UN Security Council resolution 2254, in particular the article which calls for the convening of negotiations between the regime and the Syrian opposition. Russia continues to bomb cities and commit massacres in Syria and target the mainstream armed opposition on a daily basis. It also supports the Assad regime’s policy of siege and starvation, which claimed the lives of dozens of people as a result of hunger.”
Abdah pointed out that “Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies persist on pursuing a military solution to the crisis and are not serious about finding a political solution. Russia’ participation in the Vienna meetings and its signing off on UN Security Council resolution 2254 is just a ploy to gain time. Moreover, Russia’s actions in Syria undermine chances of reaching a political solution to the conflict.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)