A civil society statement was addressed to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and the United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura on Thursday.
The statement, which was issued in the name of "civil society," provoked resentment and anger by Syrian dissidents, who saw that some of its paragraphs comply with the demands that President Bashar al-Assad's regime has been repeating over the past years.
The five-page statement was presented at the Brussels conference on Wednesday, which aimed to raise funds to help Syrians. The organizations, which claimed to represent the civil society but did not disclose their identity, did not make any direct condemnation of the Assad regime over the killings, the siege and the ongoing arrests against Syrians.
Syrian dissidents saw the statement equals the “executioner and victim" when it blamed everything in Syria on the opposition and the regime.
The statement echoed demands previously advocated by the Assad regime, pointing out the need to reopen the "Syrian consulates" in the countries of asylum, justified by saying it would be "in order to provide services to Syrians."
Assad's regime has repeatedly called for the reopening of its embassies and consulates in a number of countries in the world that have severed relations with him because of the violations he has committed against Syrians.
The statement of the "civil society organizations" also called for the economic sanctions imposed on the Assad regime to be removed, and said that these sanctions "targeted the Syrian economy" and affects the sectors of education and health.
Syrian civil society activists who do not agree with the statement compared between the language of the statement and the discourse used by Asma al-Assad, which is very similar.
The statement did not mention the Iranian or Russian intervention nor did it condemn the violations committed by the two parties agents against the Syrians. The statement merely mentioned the Israeli occupation and said "foreign militias" without mentioning the party to which they belong.
The signatories expressed their view that "the peace process comes through the inter-Syrian dialogue, a non-reprisal and non-politicized national transitional justice, and the Geneva process and Resolution 2254".
Among the activists who criticized the statement were Hassan Abbas, Zaina Erhaim and Fadel Abdulghani.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.