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Saudi Arabia Reiterates Support to Syrians

Saudi Arabia Reiterates Support to Syrians

Thursday, 23 November, 2017 - 09:15
Syrian Opposition's second expanded meeting in Riyadh (SPA)

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir reiterated Saudi Arabia's support to the Syrian people, adding that it is important to end their suffering in accordance with the Declaration of Geneva and UN Resolution 2254.

Speaking at the launch of the Syrian Opposition's second expanded meeting in Riyadh, Jubeir welcomed the members of Syrian opposition in the Kingdom and hoped their efforts be successful.

In his speech, Jubeir said the meeting comes amid international consensus on the importance of reaching a political solution to the Syria crisis. He addressed the attendees: "You are now facing a historic responsibility to end the crisis that long strained these dear people."

He stressed that the Syrian people can no longer tolerate and are waiting to see a solution.

Jubeir stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will always stand by the side of the Syrian people, as firm as it has been, confirming: “We will provide help and support for them in all what they need."

He said that there would be no solution for the Syria crisis without Syrian consensus that would achieve the aspirations of the people who look forward to see their suffering coming to an end based on Geneva I declaration and UN Security Council resolution No. 2254.

For his part, UN special envoy for the Syrian crisis Staffan de Mistura demanded that the Syrian opposition form a unified delegation to Geneva talks to reach a political solution for the Syria crisis.

He said: "Within few days we are going to put a framework for the political process in Syria," adding that the Riyadh meeting aims at reactivating Geneva negotiations.

The Syrian opposition conference will conclude on Thursday and included about 150 delegates who arrived in Saudi Arabia with the aim of reaching a unified delegation.

Former President National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Anas al-Abdah, believed the conference came at the right time given that the Syrian revolution is going through its most critical political stage, especially with the changing regional and international situations.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Abdah said the conference will grant Syrians the opportunity to say what they really want to say, adding that Syrians will have a clear idea of the nature of the solution to which they aspire.

Abdah thanked Saudi Arabia for organizing and preparing this conference, saying: "After this conference, we will have a new round of Geneva negotiations. The opposition will have an opportunity to unify its forces within one delegation."

He explained that the committee will be represented by a delegation broader than before and it will have the experience needed to negotiate. He also added that the committee will have a clearer idea of how it can effectively achieve the needed solution.

Abdah admitted to the presence of major challenges facing them, but at the same time, he said the Syrian representatives are before several opportunities. He said the situation on the ground was risky, but he believed that through effective political work the opposition can achieve the best thing during the current stage.

"There is no doubt that it [current stage] is a regionally and internationally difficult stage for both the Syrian people and revolution," concluded Abdah.

Marah al-Bekai, who represents independent opposition figures in the preparatory committee, said that the committee had been preparing for the conference for a week, adding that she is pleased with all the results achieved because they have been "fully Syrian."

Bekai reiterated that Saudi Arabia had been completely impartial even though it hosted and supported the conference. She added that Minister Jubeir confirmed that the Declaration of Geneve is the reference "which is very important."

"Jubeir's reiteration to go into the negotiations as a strong delegation is very important," she said, adding that the negotiation delegation should be prepared to face all international pressures regarding the Syrian situation.

Bekai also lauded the speech delivered by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who also confirmed the role of Syrian women in the delegation.

Bekai explained that candidatures will begin on Thursday and will be consensual, not through elections. She also stated that the preparatory committee has the mission of forming the delegation as well as a political statement, and had prepared a draft that will be announced once the attendees had agreed upon it.

Bekai stated that the committee suggested the new negotiation delegation be comprised of 30 to 33 members to be approved by the conference.

Hawas Khalil, representative of the Kurdish National Council, repeated that the main purpose of this conference is to combine the opposition within a unified political vision, which will include all opposition forces as well as the Cairo and Moscow platforms.

"We want to reach the transitional stage where this regime has no power or political role," said Khalil.

Khalil said that the conference will be a chance to discuss the negotiation political strategy and evaluate the role of the High Negotiation Committee during the previous stage.

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