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H.E. Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Mevlüt Çavusoglu meets with leaders from Syrian opposition groups

Date Posted: 09 February 2016
On Monday 8th February 2016, Dr. Hijab held a meeting with H.E. Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Davutoglu where they reviewed the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Russian-Iranian military operations in support of the regime.

Dr. Hijab expressed his gratitude to the Turkish government and their significant efforts in facilitating the entry and accommodation of Syrian refugees in Turkish territory, as well as providing a safe zone from the indiscriminate bombardment launched by the regime and its allies against populated, civilian areas.

Dr. Hijab stated that the recent military escalation demonstrates the total lack of seriousness of the regime and its allies in a peaceful, political process, as they recognise that the survival of the regime can only be maintained through exercising repression, mass murder and forced displacement.

Dr. Hijab called on the United Nations and the international community to actively seek the implementation of UNSCR 2254, and in particular:  the lifting of the siege imposed on cities and towns throughout the country, enable access for the delivery of humanitarian aid, the release of all detainees, halt aerial and artillery bombardment against civilians and civilian targets, and for all parties to immediately honour obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law; moreover, the need to hold perpetrators accountable for their violations, ensuring this does not go unpunished.

Dr. Hijab warned of the impact of the latest military operations on the security of the region, the Syrian people on the one hand, and on neighbouring countries on the other.  He added that allowing the regime to continue violating fundamental rights of the Syrian people would play into the hands of terrorists and will allow extremist elements to exploit the state of chaos and unsecured borders to threaten regional and global security.

Furthermore, Dr. Hijab met with leaders of several opposition groups to review developments on the ground in Syria and to discuss the impact on the political process.

Speaking with opposition leaders, Dr. Hijab confirmed that the High Negotiations Committee will hold an emergency meeting to assess the rationale of continuing with the negotiating process, in light of the continued crimes committed by the regime as the international community watches on; pointing out that he will be in contact and will consult with various regional and international parties to demand a halt to the foreign aggression on the country.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Hijab stated that, “the regime proved its unwillingness to accept the outcomes of the political process, and is propelling its allies to escalate military operations to ensure its survival."  He also added: "We will not allow the regime and its allies to continue this policy, we are able to communicate with this regime through diplomacy, or on the ground ... the people have spoken, and Bashar al-Assad must either leave voluntarily or involuntarily, his reign has expired; and this we will prove in time."