Syrian Coalition Hoping for Good Relations with China & Working Together to Hold War Criminals Accountable

The Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday met with Cheng Weihua, Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Ankara to discuss the latest developments on the ground in Syria, including the Assad regime’s continued bloody military campaign and the latest political developments.

The meeting, which was attended by President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa, also discussed the Assad regime’s repeated use of internationally banned chemical weapons. Beijing supported the launch of UN investigations into the use of this internationally prohibited weapon and holding those responsible to account.

Mustafa expressed hope for the establishment of strong relations with China and for working together to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes in Syria through supporting the UN accountability mechanism. He said that accountability for war crimes would open the way for a real political process leading to a political solution preserving Syria’s territorial integrity.

Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Ahad Steifo, pointed out that the Syrian Coalition and the Syrian Negotiations Commission dealt positively with the negotiating process in Geneva and sought to achieve international consensus on political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254. He pointed out that the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura and the majority of the UN Security Council’s member states attested to the positivity that was shown by the Coalition.

Steifo reiterated that the Assad regime and its backers did not show any seriousness during the latest round of the Geneva talks because of their insistence on pursuing a bloody military solution. He cited the Assad regime’s continued killings, mass forced displacement, siege, and the targeting of health facilities and humanitarian workers.

Member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the political committee Hadi al-Bahra said that the Assad regime and its allies’ behavior does not suggest there will be a change in their military strategy.

“This fact has been manifested through the continued use of brutal force against Syrian civilians and the mass forced displacement of civilians aimed at changing the demographic landscape in Syria. It has also been demonstrated by the Assad regime’s recent introduction of Law No. 10 which threatens to deprive the civilian population of their property and to prevent the displaced persons from returning to their homes,” Bahra said.

For his part, the Chinese Counselor handed a letter from the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the Coalition’s leadership, saying that the letter is a response to a previous letter from the Coalition’s President to Beijing.

The letter expressed China’s keenness to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria and its belief that a political solution is the only realistic solution for the Syrian crisis. It also reaffirmed Beijing’s support for the UN mediation as it stressed that Beijing opposes the use of force in international relations and the use of chemical weapons.

The meeting concluded with President Mustafa urging the UN Security Council to unanimously agree on the need to hold accountable all perpetrators of war crimes in Syria, especially the crimes of the use of chemical weapons and for which Assad’s involvement has been already confirmed. He underscored the need to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court as essential to reaching a lasting politician solution.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 27.04.2018)

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