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Statement: Coalition President Meets With Kerry

Jarba says arms must be provided quickly to defend Syrian civilians
Statement: Coalition President Meets With Kerry

The President of the Syrian National Coalition today met with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the situation in Syria. 


Speaking after the meeting, Ahmad Jarba, President of the Syrian Coalition said:


“I am very grateful to Secretary of State John Kerry for American support for democracy in Syria.  U.S. support for the Coalition and an end to dictatorship is immensely important as my people face the violent repression of the Assad regime.


"I gave two messages to the Secretary:


"The situation in Syria is desperate.  We urgently need American action to push the international community to demand a political transition.  Almost every country agrees with this, but American leadership and drive is essential to end this war and bring about the  democracy that the large majority of the Syrian people want.  The situation is worsening, the suffering is spreading. Time is not on our side.


"The Assad regime is pursuing a military victory, using indiscriminate weapons, ranging from chemical weapons to cluster bombs.  Until the regime has been forced to accept a political solution, we must have the means to protect ourselves.  The U.S. commitment of military support to the Supreme Military Council is vital, but it needs to happen fast, and in a way that allows us to defend ourselves and protect civilians.  To deny us the right to self-defense is to risk that the regime will survive: thousands will be executed, the repression will continue without end.


"I explained to Secretary Kerry that the Coalition fully understands American concerns about extremism and the possible diversion of military assistance.  I confirmed that the Syria coalition is 100% committed to an inclusive democracy for all Syrians, regardless of religion or ethnicity.  We absolutely condemn all terrorism and all attempts to turn Syria into what it is not, a monotheistic or totalitarian state.  But we need American direct support to save democracy in Syria and to lead the world to force Assad at last to stand down."


Note for the press: the President and the delegation of the Syrian National Coalition will be available for a press conference on Friday at the U.N. Correspondents Association, after meeting Security Council members.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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