Syrian Opposition Coalition – Syria
Department of Media and Communications
November 11, 2020
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) welcomes the refusal to participate in the conference called by the Russian Ministry of Defense on the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
The United States, the European Union and Canada announced their rejection of this conference as they stressed the need to create the appropriate conditions for the safe, voluntary, dignified return of the IDP and refugees before any talk about the return of refugees.
The international position corresponds with the SOC’s view that the current conditions are not suitable for holding such a conference as returnees will be at serious risk of arrest, enforced disappearance, torture and various others violations, let alone the lack of basic services.
For millions of Syrians, the conference is nothing more than a Russian gimmick aimed at circumventing its political obligations. It also exposes bad intentions, as well as lack of commitment to international resolutions and agenda for political solution, especially in light of the continuing bombing and escalating attacks while ignoring issues that could express good intentions, especially the issue of detainees and the forcibly disappeared.
These Russian tricks require a different response, especially as they are devoid of any human dimension and aimed at exploiting the refugee crisis to impose the regime on the Syrian people and the international community, as well as to fund this project through reconstruction money that Russia and the regime are clearly seeking to steal for themselves.
As we welcome the international stance towards the Russian plans, we call for practical steps to bring about a political solution in Syria, and to press more strongly towards the full implementation of UN Resolution 2254 in preparation for the safe and dignified return of millions of refugees and IDP to their country.