“The Assad regime’s return to the Arab League, and any attempt to normalize with it, are a reward for the regime for its crimes and a strengthening of Iran’s disastrous and spiteful plan for the region and its people,” said Salem al-Meslet, head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition.
This came at a press conference, on Tuesday, for the head of the coalition from the Syrian embassy in Doha, at the end of his official visit to Qatar.
“Our visit to Qatar and our consultation with Doha is important and continuous,” he said. He added that “we need our brothers to hear their point of view, and to look at finding a solution and speeding it up in order to end the Syrians’ suffering.”
“We have seen from our Qatari brothers a firm position in support of the Syrian cause and the Syrian people. Our meeting with Qatari officials has been distinctive and positive, and we affirm its role in supporting the issues of the people,” the coalition president added.
He also said that a meeting had been held with U.S. officials, noting that they “assured us that the United States is committed to implementing the Caesar Act. They confirmed their categorical rejection of normalization with the Assad regime.”
We refuse to turn the Syrian issue into merely a humanitarian issue
“We assured Mr. Pedersen of our refusal to turn the issue of the Syrian people into just a humanitarian issue,” he said. Meslet noted that “the Assad regime, since the start of the negotiation rounds in 2014, has not taken any positive step towards a solution in Syria, but on the contrary has disrupted all efforts to resolve it.”
“We do not see any positive signs in the current UN efforts, nor is the regime serious about engaging in the political process, particularly the Constitutional Committee,” he said. He stressed the Syrian opposition’s commitment to implementing Security Council Resolution 2254.
“In 2015, before the Russian aggression began, the regime did not control more than 17% of Syrian territory, but with the help of Russia, the Iranian occupation, and dozens of militias, millions of Syrians were killed and abandoned in order for Assad to remain in power,” the coalition leader said.
“We hope to find a quick solution to the Syrian issue, and we want to see a solution that will lift the suffering of our people,” he said.
No new body for the opposition
Regarding the restructuring of the Syrian National Coalition, Meslet said that “the current political situation needs to be reviewed.” He stressed that “there is no intention to establish a new body, and the coalition is the main Syrian institution for Syrians. The goal is to proceed in the political path.”
He stressed that “the coalition is a political and effective institution, and since its establishment, is committed to the principles of the revolution. The strength of the revolution lies in the unity of the Syrian opposition. This is what we are working on continuously through communication and interaction with all the forces of the revolution and the Syrian opposition.”
“There is a great interest in activating revolutionary political institutions, as well as dialogue and consultative seminars, to talk about common factors and one vision that begins in Syria without the Assad regime,” he said.
He pointed out that the coalition held “meetings with research centers, and we discussed with them many issues. We held meetings with many Syrian personalities, and assured them of the coalition’s consistent position in defending the cause of the Syrian people and their rights.”
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.