Joint Press Release (Original in Arabic)
Syrian Coalition/Building the Syrian State Movement
May 11, 2015
For over forty years, Syria has been ruled by a repressive authoritarian regime that does not hesitate to use any means to consolidate its authority on the Syrian people. It has sidelined and marginalized most groups in Syrian society. Throughout this period, power in Syria has been monopolized by one family in alliance with parasitic and corrupt factions of the various components of the Syrian people. To protect their interests, they launched a vicious campaign of murder and destruction, killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving the country in ruins.
In fact, no one in Syria except the Assad family and its partners fear the birth of a new Syria. While flattening whole cities with artillery and warplanes as well as massacring civilians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs, they have sought to convince people at home and abroad that the alternative to their rule is chaos and extremism. Facts on the ground have shown beyond doubt that the Assad regime is the sole embodiment of criminality and destruction, having attracted thousands of extremists and caused instability and chaos in Syria.
Besides renouncing violence, the Syrian Revolution supports security, stability, the rule of law and is aimed to achieve civil peace. At its core, the revolution is not an extremist movement, but aimed at establishing a constitutional ruling system that respects the will of the people and their rights. It also aims to establish a modern state where all people have equal citizenship rights and duties without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, sex or sect. Furthermore, it decisively rejects any concession or penalty based on these grounds. It represents hope for Syria to become, as it once used to be, a free country for all its citizens.
The future of Syria is determined solely by its own sons and daughters, and is shaped in accordance with the will of its people and their interests. Syrians of all backgrounds and in all areas are resolutely determined to bury all forms of sedition and division that enemies of Syria have sought to sow. Sectarianism is alien to Syria as all religions have always peacefully co-existed. It has always been an example of moderation, national coexistence and interaction of all components of the Syrian people, based on the rules established by our ancestors. Our ancestors laid the foundations of an independent state and these foundations have settled in the consciousness of Syrians and their lives. The foundations include:
– A civil pluralist democratic state, which enjoys constitutional life and the rule of law and where all citizens are equal and where all public and private freedoms are ensured.
– A state that redresses the grievances of its people, provides justice to victims, and holds to account perpetrators of crimes and corruption before fair courts and on the basis of personal responsibility. “No bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden.”
– A state that provides equal opportunities for all its citizens based on the standards of efficiency and competence. It also establishes public work according to a comprehensive Syrian national vision.
– It seeks to separate powers, establish an independent judiciary, and respects the will of the people in representative institutions that are established through free and fair periodic elections.
We call for holding onto Syrian national interests and for acting in accordance with its objectives at all stages. No political solution will save Syria without the departure of Assad and his ruling elite who must not have any role in the future of Syria. A comprehensive national dialogue among Syrians is a prelude to bringing about acceptable solutions that will put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and restore security and stability to the country.
*The Document of Basic Principles for a Political Settlement in Syria, which was adopted and ratified by the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces on January 14, 2015, is a comprehensive national document of the Syrian opposition. We are fully committed to abiding by its provisions and ensuring their implementation, and we call on all Syrians to share this commitment.
*In response to the gains on the ground made recently by the revolutionary forces in various areas of southern and northern Syria, the murderous Assad regime has escalated the bombardment of towns and villages. Hence, it is increasingly importance to work on providing safe areas for the Syrian people at home. We therefore announce that we will work to provide safe areas for the Syrian people and to establish civil administration in those areas.
*The establishment of a national army has become a matter of urgency to face the future challenges as the regime’s army has already disintegrated and is nearing total collapse. The real victory of the revolution will culminate in the birth of an army for the new Syria, whose task will be defending the homeland and the people, protecting the sovereignty and independence of Syria, and providing security and stability to all citizens throughout Syria. The recent mergers of rebel factions constitute the first step in building this army, where rebels, defected army officers and free Syrians everywhere will form the backbone of this army.
* We believe that the continuation of cooperation and coordination with other opposition parties is the cornerstone of the national work to serve the revolution, overthrow the regime and achieve victory. We invite all opposition blocs, whether they are parties, groups, movements or national figures to join us in this effort. Syria is for all its sons and daughters. They all have to work for its future. Our homeland Syria is a homeland of love, culture and human civilization, deserving of our dedicated efforts.