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Date Posted: 09 May 2016

At the invitation of the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, a delegation of the High Negotiations Committee chaired by General Coordinator Dr. Riad Hijab, participated in a meeting of the Friends of Syria Group today in Paris.

In his address to the Group meeting, Dr. Hijab re-emphasised the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the city of Aleppo and other Syrian provinces as a result of the escalation carried out by the regime through aerial and artillery bombardment of populated civilian areas.  He called on the international community to urgently act to cease hostilities and to address the horrific violations committed by the regime and its allies against civilians in various Syrian provinces.  Dr. Hijab also warned of the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in many of these provinces, and in particular, Aleppo where the regime and its allies have committed a number of horrifying massacres in recent days.  Dr. Hijab reiterated the premeditated intentions to escalate the hostilities through mobilising additional sectarian militias and mercenaries to support the regime in a bloody campaign against the city.

Dr. Hijab reiterated that the serious violations of the regime and its allies have rendered the truce non-existent on the ground, and hence is further confirmation of the regime and its allies’ intention to derail the political process and evade political outcomes.  He called on the international community to work to stop the suffering of the Syrian people through: lifting the siege and blockades of cities and regions, enabling access for humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance to all those in need, releasing all detainees, ceasing aerial and artillery bombardment and attacks on civilians and civilian targets, halting forced deportations, and effecting a moratorium on executions; in accordance with articles 12, 13 and 14 of UNSCR 2254.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Hijab cautioned that the recent escalation would have serious humanitarian ramifications.  Such barbaric bombardment will again result in hundreds of thousands of Syrians taking refuge in neighbouring countries.  He highlighted the need for the UN to adopt a more assertive approach towards the violations committed by the Assad regime and its allies, and to link the continuation of the political process with immediate, unconditional implementation of Security Council Resolutions, in particular stopping the violence, reducing the suffering of the Syrian people,  lifting the siege, allowing unhindered delivery of aid to those in need, releasing detainees, effecting a moratorium on executions, as well as all other arbitrary measures exercised by the regime against civilians.