The Bashar al-Assad regime has agreed to negotiate with the Netherlands regarding the latter’s decision to hold it accountable for the grave human rights violations it committed in Syria, according to Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok.
According to a statement issued by the Dutch government last Friday, “the regime said that it is ready to enter into a dialogue with the Netherlands about the latter’s decision to hold Syria accountable for gross human rights violations.”
The statement added that “now that Syria has agreed to enter into talks on accountability, the particulars of the negotiations (how, where, and when) can be determined.”
Blok said, through his account on Twitter, that this development is “an important step in achieving justice for the Syrians now that Syria has agreed to address the issue of accountability. We are pleased to join hands with Canada in our efforts to end impunity.”
The Netherlands announced, in September last year, that it was preparing a lawsuit against the Assad regime before the highest court of the United Nations, seeking to hold the Assad regime accountable for human rights violations.
The violations include torture and the use of chemical weapons, according to a letter written by Blok, which he addressed to Parliament on Sep. 18, 2020.
The regime responded at the time. A source in the regime’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, according to SANA, that “the Dutch government, which has taken on the role of the servant subordinate of the United States of America, insists on using the International Court of Justice in The Hague to serve its American master’s political agendas.”
The source said that “the Dutch government is not in a position to talk about human rights and the protection of civilians after it supported and funded armed organizations in Syria.”
Until Sunday noon, no official statement had been issued by the Assad regime regarding the negotiations with the Netherlands.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.