Syrian Opposition Coalition
September 13, 2020
By paying tribute to the fallen heroes of the Syrian revolution, President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Nasr Al-Hariri, opened the 52nd meeting of the General Assembly which took place on 12-13 September. He gave a comprehensive overview on the developments of the political situation, the political process, and the SOC’s activities in the past two months.
Al-Hariri talked about the coronavirus pandemic and the cases in the liberated, the role of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and the Ministry of Health in confronting the pandemic, the efforts being made, and the contacts with international institutions to provide the Ministry with the necessary supplies. He also talked about the pandemic outbreak in the regime-held areas and the regime’s failure to stem the spread of the disease. Moreover, he highlighted the dire living conditions and the various crises affecting Syrian citizens in those areas, all of which were caused by the regime’s actions. He also talked about the political situation and the major developments on the ground, especially the relative calm in Jabal al-Zawiya region in Idlib province as well as in Jabal al-Akrad and Jabal al-Turkoman regions in rural Latakia. He pointed to the Assad regime and its allied militias’ violations and their attempts to impose a military solution. He also talked about the role of the Turkish ally in enforcing the terms of the agreement with Russia and to consolidate the ceasefire in this region. Al-Hariri highlighted the latest developments in east of the Euphrates region and the PYD militia’s violations against the civilian population, including forced conscription, arbitrary arrest, the imposition of education curricula that the Syrian people rejected, and signing illegal contracts to invest oil and the region’s resources. He also talked about the moves and contacts that the SOC has taken to express its outright rejection of these actions, the popular movement that took place in the region, and the uprising of the Al-Akidat tribe and other ongoing events. He also talked about the efforts being made by the SOC’s Al-Jazira and Euphrates Committee to communicate with the people of the region and invite them to work together, show national unity to confront these actions, and allow the people of the region to manage their affairs by themselves.
Al-Hariri highlighted the situation in southern Syria, most notably killings, kidnappings, revenge attacks, and attempts to sow discord between the peoples of Dara’a and Al-Swaida provinces. He also talked about the ongoing efforts by the SOC’s South Committee to interact and communicate with the people in the southern region in order to confront these malicious, grave attempts.
Furthermore, the SOC talked about the SOC’s latest efforts to gain true legitimacy by reaching out to the various components of the Syrian people through extensive communication with various spectra and actors; meeting with a wide range of political parties and blocs; completing the first round of the consultative meetings, and meeting with the SOC’s components and prominent Kurdish personalities. The SOC also held meetings with the various components throughout the country, including with the people of Deir Ezzor, al-Raqqa and al-Hasakah provinces that would pave the way for a broad consultative meeting for the people of the eastern region, southern Syria, the various parts of the liberated areas, the regime-held areas, the PYD-held areas.
Al-Hariri pointed to the drawing up of a draft of a national vision and the renewal of the national discourse. He also talked about the course of the political process, the latest talks in Geneva, the regime’s continued attempts to disrupt the talks, and the lack of an effective international resolution that obliges the regime to comply with international resolutions, especially UN Resolution 2254.
In view of the important role of SIG’s and the SOC’s institutions, the majority of discussion in the first day were devoted to reviewing the report of SIG’s head and the ministries and the steps they have taken, the difficulties they are facing, developments in the efforts to build the national army, forming the police and judiciary, organizing the work of border crossings, the conditions of the internally displaced people, the local councils, and the efforts being made by the Citizen Service Office to certify diplomas, solve citizens’ problems and manage their affairs.
The General Assembly reviewed a detailed report that was submitted by the Assistance Coordination Unit and the immense efforts it is making, as well as the Trust Fund, grain and seeds, and achievements and difficulties.
The second day of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the political developments and situation on the ground, reports of departments, offices and committees and what has been accomplished in recent months. Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission gave a comprehensive overview on the Commission’s path and its developments as well as the important proposals about the political process, the need for a new narrative that clarifies to our people the nature of that process and our commitment to goals of the revolution, and paying attention to the various groups of the Syrian people, including about 13 million who are internally displaced and refugees.
For his part, Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, gave a comprehensive overview on the Commission’s work and the circumstances that surrounded the latest meeting in Geneva, the Commission’s positive interaction with the United Nations and the UN envoy proposals, and the importance of agreeing on a specific agenda that obliges the regime’s delegation to stop their attempts to procrastinate and disrupt the talks.
The General Assembly adopted a set of decisions and recommendations to endorse a national vision, renew the national discourse, continue to communicate with the various Syrian actors, and consolidate participation in a set of necessary moves.