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Jarba's Speech at Conclusion of First Round of Talks at Geneva

The Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba makes an impassioned speech addressing the Syrian people, explaining the regime lost the first round of talks
Jarba's Speech at Conclusion of First Round of Talks at Geneva

Dear Syrians,


The supporters of the regime and its allies will continue to tell you more lies about the Geneva II negotiations.They will try to hide what really happened. You will hear, as usual, that they have won another illusionary battle of theirs, where they win only over our bodies. You will hear no truth from them.


The truth is that bringing them to the negotiations table is the beginning of the end. The battle we fought in Geneva for seven overwhelming days was a political battle in which we faced the representatives of a regime that is the master of consuming time. What condoles us is that the regime who ruled us for more than fifty years has arrived in Geneva to dig its own grave. The regime didn’t know that each bullet that penetrates the body of a Syrian child is another nail in its coffin which being built in Geneva.


I would have liked to speak to you today to tell you that we have reached an agreement with our countrymen, an agreement to insure peace and safety for our people. We were determined to build a new, democratic and free Syria. I would have liked to finish this battle to go back to Syria, to kiss the heads of our mothers, all the mothers in our country who have lost their sons in the holocaust of a mad man.


It wasn’t easy for us. It was like taking a poison, while the criminals were killing our women, children, youth and elderly. But we passed the dark tunnel steadfastly to reach the goal we came for, and we reached it, we revealed the reality of Assad and his regime, and we got the international support we wanted when we made the strategic decision to participate in Geneva II, though we lost the support of some parties and some rebels on the ground.


Bashar Assad wanted us to arrive at the conference in as weak a position as possible so that he could go through the first round of negotiations without making any progress. But we weren’t so naïve to think that the regime who used chemical weapons against its people will give a free reward to Syrians in the negotiations. We wanted to reveal the true image of the regime to the sponsors of the conference in the first round, and we did it, achieving what Assad couldn’t expect.


We declared clearly from the very first day thatr we support Geneva I, which all the sponsors, including Russia, supported,  and we asked the regime to sign on to it immediately. Throughout the whole week, we kept asking regime's delegation to sign it and they kept running away. We turned their rhetoric about terrorism into a trial for their fifty-year-old use of terrorism and their export of terrorism using sectarian militias from Iraq and Lebanon.


Except for the regime's initial agreement on Geneva I as a reference, we cannot notice a serious commitment from regime's side.


The scene was genuinely comical; a regime who used chemical weapons and sectarian mercenaries, who danced over the corpses of 11, 000 detainees, giving a lecture on terrorism!


The regime of hatred believed it was more qualified politically. It thought that diplomacy will manage to recover its military and social defeat in Syria. It thought that it could succeed in the negotiations room, but it never had. We proved that when the right stands against the void, it wins, either in politics or in any other field.


The regime had bet was on breaking the unity of our people, but the direct confrontation with it in the negotiations only renewed the unity of our great people, as the revolution had once before. The dictator lost the battle when his representatives found themselves obliged to discuss his destiny for the first time in five decades.


A new Syrian republic was born in Geneva, despite the fact that no political agreement was signed. Our historical decision to participate in Geneva II put an end to the regime of monopoly and corruption in Syria. The regime, with all its legacy, became now just one party among many. It can no longer claim to represent our country. It didn’t even realize that it had fallen in to the trap it wanted us to fall in; that it had  lost its legitimacy under the umbrella of the United Nations.


My brothers and sisters, you have seen how the regime delayed for a whole week the opening of a safe passages for humanitarian aid to Old Homs, how it treated our detained women and children as negotiating tools. Meanhile, our delegation had nothing in mind except the pictures of our martyrs, detainees and our besieged people.


But their disclaimer was not free this time; we had already connected our participation in Geneva II with the military balance on the ground, otherwise the regime would not feel any commitment to Geneva I. When Assad's regime stops its aggressive attacks on our people, it can ask our allies to stop their support for our self-defense.


Dear Syrians, the picture has now become clear. You can see that we were not naïve to think that this regime which used chemical weapons against its own people, will give the Syrians a reward at negotiations table. Negotiations with this regime are not only political, they are also military, legal and humanitarian; this is its strategy.


We declare to our friends that Assad's representatives have shown no real commitment, like we have, to make Geneva II successful. Nonetheless, we reiterate our commitment to return to Geneva after few days to complete discussions related to the political solution, the transitional power and the formation of the transitional governing body with full executive powers which will run the military and civil state institutions and will reconstruct the army and security forces in order to lead Syria to safety and security.


Dear Syrians, we all know how the regime turned the life of a country and its people into a living hell, moving from mass grave to massacre, how it tortured our people and let our children starve. The photos we have seen recently of at least 11, 000 detainees are evidence of its new and old criminal acts. All of this is simply to maintain the agent of Tehran in power.


The regime has turned all Syrian territory into a mobile cemetery, from those it bombarded with hatred, to those it has used as fuel for its war. This regime used the grandchildren of Saleh al-Ali and Badawi al-Jabal in its war. It is a regime who derives its strength from the weakness of the collective memory. How can we believe that the killer of Salah Jdid and Mohammad Omran, who exported the tradition of committing suicide with three bullets, as in the case of Ghazi Kenaan, can protect our ransomed coast or the Jabal Mountains, carved deeply in our memory?


Who will believe that this regime, which displaced our Christian brothers and tortured their intellectuals wants to protect them from their brothers who share with them their daily tragedy baptized by tears and blood? Who will think that the regime which besieged the history and legacy of Sultan al-Atrash, who deprived the Kurds from their rights and identity, will protect the Syrian identity and its case?


Dear Syrians, the world is now more convinced today on the righteousness of our revolution after we followed the political track. The regime embarrassed itself when it attended Geneva II. It thought it could exclude our people from the solution, but it was like watching someone at his own funeral, because accepting the terms of Geneva I is the beginning of the end. They attended the conference in order to escape their final  commitments.


On the other hand, we entered into negotiations from the wide door of change and managed to put ithe regime delegation in th face of hard formulas. With the United Nations was there to bare witness, it failed to sign and it didn’t show any commitment. The regime failed to even  accept safe humanitarian passage. The whole world witnessed it attempting to avoid opening the humanitarian paths to deliver aid to a quarter of the population in regions where people are either dead or about to die from hunger. And the regime talks about terrorism!


Dear Syrians, dear rebels, you chanted: "The people want to topple Bashar" and "The Syrian people are one". Now, I address every mother who has lost her son and every rebel who carries his blood on his hands, every Syrian child cannot sleep because of hunger or suffers nightmares of barrel bombs, fire and shame, I address you all. I shake your hands, the hands from which we extract dignity and the sublime, and I assure to you: Your tragedy, your dreams and demands are under our guardianship. We may die, but we will never give up the guardianship.


Thank you.        


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer.



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