January 13, 2019
The Syrian Coalition’s General Assembly on Saturday begun its 43rd session by observing a minute of silence for the fallen heroes of the Syrian Revolution. The agenda of the session, which was held on Saturday and Sunday, included discussions of the reality of the Syrian Coalition and its presence inside Syria, and the latest political developments, especially the possible repercussions of the US’s decision to withdraw from Syria. Tabled for discussions were also the reports submitted by the presidential body, the General Secretariat, the political committee, the departments and committees, the Syrian Interim Government, and the Assistance Coordination Unit.
The session gave particular importance to the decisions of the political committee to work inside Syria and to establish headquarters in the liberated areas as a cornerstone of the Coalition’s plan of action and the basis for representing the Syrian people and its revolution which is going through complex circumstances.
The Assembly discussed the latest developments in Idlib and the possible repercussions of the ongoing attempts by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militant group to take control of the liberated areas in their entirety as well as the rebel infighting and its possible repercussions. The Coalition reasserted its position that Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is a terrorist group that needs to be entirely eliminated from Idlib and in any other region in accordance with the popular will expressing its outright rejection of this group and its actions. The Assembly stressed the need to find a radical solution for this problem through agreement and cooperation with Turkish friends to protect the civilians and prevent the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies from unleashing a major offensive under the pretext of fighting terrorism in the region.
President of Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa gave an overview of the activities and meetings held by the Presidency over the past two months. He focused on vital meetings, activities and events that the Coalition held inside Syria, especially the conference of the tribal council and the important meetings with ambassadors and representatives of friendly countries, especially the United States. President Mustafa also briefed the Assembly about the effective coordination with friends in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other sisterly and friendly countries.
President of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Nasr al-Hariri, gave a detailed overview of the political developments at the regional and international levels, the developments in the political process, and the reality and future of the Constitutional Committee. He reaffirmed the need for a political transition as the basis for a political solution through the Geneva process. He also welcomed the latest remarks by the UN Secretary General and the new UN envoy to Syria reiterating commitment to a political solution and to achieve real breakthroughs in the political process in issues other than the constitution and elections and those that are the core of the political transition and its requirements.
In this regard, the General Assembly reviewed the recent developments with regards to the decisions by some countries to restore ties with the Assad regime under pretexts that are not compatible with the political solution. The Assembly expressed its outright rejection of such moves as they would have negative repercussions.
After reviewing the reports of the Presidency, the Secretary-General and the decisions and recommendations of the political committee, the General Assembly discussed the situation of Syrian refugees and IDPs in the camps and the reality of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in this harsh winter. It also discussed the moves and contacts that that were made by the political committee with a number of agencies to provide assistance to the refugees and alleviate their suffering. The Assembly also reaffirmed its position with regards to the return of the refugees and the conditions of this return which the political committee has already set for their return and discussed with friendly countries and the United Nations. Tabled for discussions was also the issue of reconstruction which can only take place after reaching a comprehensive political solution. It also discussed the issue of detainees and the work of the Syrian Coalition’s Commission on the Detainees and Missing Persons in this regard.
Head of the Syrian Interim Government Jawad Abu Hatab gave a detailed overview of SIG’s work, its achievements and the difficulties facing it. The ministers and SIG officials also submitted detailed reports on their work, especially in the areas of primary, intermediate, secondary and university education, health and services, and the local councils. They also briefed the Assembly about the National Army and the efforts to activate its role in confronting the Assad regime and the militias and terrorist organizations. They talked about the reality on the ground.
Tabled for discussion was also the situation in east and west of the Euphrates River. The political committee and concerned departments submitted written visions of the political vision which should be the framework of the necessary action. These visions included taking practical steps that enable the local people of the region to manage their own areas, reaffirm the Coalition’s commitment to Syria’s geographic and political unity, eliminate the terrorist organizations, to emphasize effective partnership with all forces on the ground, and strengthen relations with Turkish friends in this vital region.
The General Assembly concluded its meeting by reasserting the activation of the role of the Coalition and its institutions inside Syria. It stressed the importance of carrying out of the tasks laid out in the Coalition’s plans of action, the activation of the work of the Syrian Interim Government, the Assistance Coordination Unit, and the insistence on the Geneva process as the only track for political transition in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
May the Syrian Revolution emerge victorious.