Syrian Opposition Coalition
August 6, 2022
The General Assembly of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) held its 63rd regular meeting in Istanbul on 4-5 August. The meeting began with observing a minute of silence for the fallen heroes of the Syrian Revolution. SOC’s President, Salem Al-Meslet, gave an opening speech after presenting the work reports for the past two months, including the reports of the presidency, vice-presidents and the General Secretariat.
Al-Meslet welcomed the new members who joined the General Assembly as he reaffirmed his keenness to activate the role of everyone in order to achieve greater political effectiveness and more adequate representation of the Syrian society. He made it clear that there is a plan to boost the work of the SOC’s departments, offices and committees as well as to inject fresh blood into them by reshuffling their members.
Al-Meslet indicated that in the coming days, the SOC will intensify its visits and meetings with the institutions of the Syrian revolution, bodies and groupings, and pay more attention to the problems facing Syrian civilians in the liberated areas and in the host countries.
He stressed that the national discourse should be reflected in actions and ways of addressing the issues of the Syrian people, leading to a single, free Syria that everyone aspires to.
The SOC’s Vice-Presidents and the Secretary-General presented their briefings in which they presented reports on their work in the past two months.
The SIG’s ministers presented a detailed presentation of the major work and achievements of the ministries as well as the difficulties they face. There was a thorough discussion of the SIG’s activities at various levels.
President of the Syrian Negotiations Commission, Badr Jamous, gave an overview on the major developments in the political process, the results of the Commission’s meetings, and its meetings with the major actors in Syria and the UN envoy, Geir Pedersen.
Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee, Hadi Al-Bahra, also gave a briefing detailing the state of impasse and obstructionism due to the positions of the Assad regime, which practically trampled the Committee’s substance and the drafting of a new constitution for the country.
Al-Bahra, who is also the SOC’s representative and Head of the steering committee of the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF), presented a detailed report on the work, activities and major projects of the Fund. A detailed discussions took place on the major aspects of the Fund’s work.
SOC’s Vice-President, Ruba Habboush, who is also Head of the Syrian Women’s Authority, spoke about the Authority’s activities, especially in the liberated areas. These included holding various meetings with the aim of empowering Syrian women politically and socially. She stressed the continuation of efforts in this context to enable Syrian women have a role in all decision-making positions.
The Assembly also reviewed the humanitarian issues, the field and military situations, especially the latest developments in Dara’a, Aleppo and Idlib, and the SOC’s role in the current stage. They also discussed the tragic situation in the al-Rukban camp in southern Syria as a result of the Assad regime’s blockade on and the halving of the amount of water provided by the United Nations. They stressed the need to make every effort to support the displaced people in that area.
Moreover, the Assembly discussed possible solutions to the water problem in the town of al-Bab after the Assad regime cut off water supplies from the water stations located in the areas under its control. They discussed a project to draw water from the nearest point on the Euphrates River.
Participants in the meeting put forward proposals and projects to improve the living conditions, health and educational reality in the liberated areas. They stressed the need for continuous development of these areas while providing protection for them through the Syrian National Army and allies, especially in light of the hostile actions being carried out by the PYD terrorist militia and the Assad regime forces.
In the humanitarian field, the participants stressed the importance of sustained cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid, looking into ways to persuade the international community to provide the humanitarian aid away from the blackmail that Russia constantly practices.
On the political level, the Assembly discussed the importance of continuous work so that the Syria remains a priority for the influential states so as to proceed with the political process in Syria, especially UN Resolution 2254, and the need to open all tracks included in the resolution.
The Assembly also discussed international and regional developments related to Syria, stressing the need for the Assad regime to remain outside the Arab fold as its presence means Iran’s infiltration into the Arab League. They took note of the role of the brotherly states who reject the return of the regime to the Arab League, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.
The General Assembly stressed the necessity of genuine representation of the Syrian people, and of seeking to achieve their aspirations and support their rightful demands to build a successful, civilized model of governance in the liberated areas.
The General Assembly also decided to extend the tenure of the current presidential body and political committee – which is defined in Article 20 of the SOC’s by-law – for a period of 12 months beginning from August 4th.
The Assembly stressed that activating the SOC’s offices in the liberated areas is an ongoing task in order to act as a model for Syria’s future institutions.
The Assembly stressed the need to reach out to all forces of the revolution and be open to everyone. They stressed the importance of working as one hand to ensure the continuation of the revolution to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people for getting rid of the criminal regime, regaining freedom and independence, and building a modern democratic civil state for all its citizens.
At the end of the meeting, Al-Meslet sent letters to the UN Secretary-General, the US Secretary of State, and the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding the suffering of the residents of al-Rukban camp and the need to find a solution to their suffering.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
May the Syrian revolution emerge victorious.