The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) on Tuesday met with representatives of friendly states and discussed with them the importance of revitalizing the political process in Syria and the latest developments on the ground, especially the grave military escalation by the Assad regime and Russia on civilian areas in northwestern Syria.
The meeting brought together SOC’s President Salem al-Meslet, Co-chair of the Constitutional Committee Hadi al-Bahra, Head of the Syrian Interim Government Abdurrahman Mustafa, SOC’s Secretary-General Haytham Rahmeh, Vice-President Abdulahad Astepho, Secretary of the political committee Abd al-Majid Barakat, members of the political committee, coordinators of the SOC’s offices, departments and committees.
In attendance were also representatives of the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Australia, and Switzerland.
Meslet gave an overview of the latest field and political developments in Syria. He attributes the political gridlock in Syria to the absence of a firm international stance towards the Assad regime’s crimes and the lack of seriousness in supporting the Syrian people to achieve their demands and put an end to the bloodshed.
AMeslet stressed the importance of working seriously to revitalize the political process and implement international resolutions on Syria, most importantly the Geneva Communique of 2012 and Resolutions 2118 and 2254, especially the provisions related to accountability for war crimes.
Meanwhile, al-Bahra spoke about the SOC’s positive, constructive engagement in the political process that began in 2014, stressing the continuation of the same approach until achieving a political transition that brings an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.
Mustafa spoke about SIG’s efforts to administer the liberated areas, as well as the difficulties and challenges to achieving security and stability in the region, most notably the ongoing terrorist attacks by the PYD terrorist militia.
Salwa Aksoy, a member of the political committee, called for effective action by members of the General Assembly to pressure the Assad regime to take real steps to release detainees and disclose the fate of the forcibly disappeared.
The coordinator of the Department of Refugee Affairs, Salim Idris, spoke about the need to support Syrian refugees in the host countries. He said that the refugee problems cannot be resolved without achieving political transition and implementing UN resolutions, especially UN Resolution 2254, which will provide a safe, stable environment for the voluntary return of refugees.
Secretary of the political committee, Abdul Majeed Barakat, talked about the sanctions imposed on the Assad regime. He stressed the importance of expanding sanctions so that they affect Syrian and non-Syrian individuals and entities that violate the sanctions. He called for exerting pressure on the PYD terrorist militia to prevent them from supplying the regime with oil. He also called for an end to the regime’s generation of revenues from issuing personal documents for huge amounts of money.
Coordinator of the Office of Studies, Firas Masri, talked about the work of international organizations and United Nations agencies in Syria and how they consult with the regime about the assessment and distribution of assistance in Syria while not doing the same thing in the liberated areas. He made it clear that civil society organizations are reluctant to coordinate with the SOC and SIG for fear of suspension of assistance under the pretext of politicizing their work.
Masri called for coordinating with the SOC to assess the needs and methods of distribution of aid through civil society organizations operating in the liberated areas.
This article was 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.