DOHA/MONTREUX (Switzerland): Ceasing all military operations, providing safe corridors for humanitarian assistance and setting a specific time-frame for negotiation are among the basic requirements for the ongoing Geneva II conference to become a success, the Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah said yesterday.
Addressing the conference, the Foreign Minister said that the concerned parties should also work to implement the outcome of Geneva I and make efforts to reach a concrete and clear agreement.
A specific time-frame for negotiation should be set along with implementation instruments and monitoring mechanisms, he added.
“My country cannot defend any regime that commits massacres against unarmed civilian demonstrations, as this regime has done since the beginning of the revolution. Our duty compels us not to deceive the peoples and not to cave in at moments of despair. It is unacceptable for anyone to believe that they have come here to seal their victory over the other party. Instead, everybody are supposed to have come here to realise the rights of the Syrian people, achieve their legitimate aspirations and preserve the unity of Syria ‘s people and territory,” said Al Attiyah.
The Foreign Minister described the decision of the National Coalition for the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces to participate in the conference as “difficult and courageous”.
“Such decision is of great significance for it amounts to a confirmation of and full support for the option of political solution,” he said, adding, “If the party advocating the security solution continues to adopt such approach, the situation would seriously deteriorate and threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and the unity of its people. It would also pose a threat to the security and stability of the neighbouring states and international peace and security”.
Invoking any excuses, such as the fight against terrorism, that would prevent addressing the root causes of the crisis, is merely a form of disruption and a denial of the reality, said Al Attiyah.
“We are up against a regime that considers the invocation of the “fight against terrorism” a slogan to justify colonial control. It has however used such slogan against its own people in a bid to win the admiration of the very democratic countries whose democracy it has long ridiculed. Why does such regime, which is the actual perpetrator and sponsor of terrorism, not emulate those countries by providing its citizens with freedom and dignity before adopting their slogan of fight against terrorism?” asked Al Attiyah.
Concluding his remarks, he said the Syrian people expected concrete outcomes from the meeting.
“Otherwise, this historic opportunity would be nothing more than a repetition of previous international efforts that made the Syrian people pay a heavy price as a result of ambiguity and lack of mechanisms to compel the parties concerned to implement the agreements,” he said.
Later, he met the US Secretary of State John Kerry.
See also page 10