Syrian Opposition Delegation Meets with Western Officials on Sidelines of UN General Assembly

Delegation calls on Western officials to provide protection for civilians and put an end to the Assad regime’s mass forced displacement policy against residents of the besieged areas

The Syrian opposition delegation to New York met with a number of Western officials on the sidelines of the 71st United Nations General Assembly meeting on Tuesday.

The delegation, which included Syrian National Coalition President Anas al-Abdah and General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riyad Hijab, called on Western officials to provide protection for civilians and put an end to the Assad regime’s mass forced displacement policy against residents of the besieged areas.

During a meeting with French President Francois Hollande Tuesday evening, Abdah said that the Assad regime and its allies have shown the utmost disrespect for international resolutions and have been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian people.

Hijab called upon the French leadership to play a more active role in providing civilian protection in light of the Assad regime’s besiegement and starvation of Syrian civilians, especially in Aleppo and the districts of Moadamiya and Waer. He also lauded France’s support for the vision for political solution the HNC laid out in London in early September.

Hijab pointed out that the Free Syrian Army is the only force capable of effectively fighting terrorism and defending the Syrian people, citing the spectacular gains being made by FSA groups against ISIS in the northern Aleppo countryside.

President Hollande reaffirmed his country's support for the Syrian opposition and its roadmap for a political solution, making clear France's support for the struggle of the Syrian people to build a democratic state.

The Syrian opposition’s delegation also met with Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen in New York to discuss the opposition’s roadmap for political transition in Syria. The delegation pointed out that the roadmap includes the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers and should begin with the departure of President Assad and members of the regime with blood on their hands.

The opposition’s delegation also met with Canada’s Foreign Minister Stephane Dion and called on his country to engage more actively in the efforts aimed at reaching a solution in Syria.

The Canadian foreign minister commended the opposition’s vision for a solution, describing it as a precise plan for political transition.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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