Seif Stresses Importance of EU Role in Syria as He Meets EU Foreign Policy Chief

President of the Syrian Coalition Riad Seif held an important meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini at the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital Brussels on Friday.

The meeting was attended by a number of European officials. Seif headed a high-level delegation that included head of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab, and members of the Coalition’s political committee and the General Assembly.

Seif stressed that the Europeans need to assume a bigger role in Syria and the Middle East. “We feel ashamed when we see statements condemning the Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity while there is no concrete action is taken to stop these crimes.”

While Iran occupies Syria, Russia acts freely in the country, Seif said. On the other side, “our friends have not yet taken action to stop the aggression on Syria nor have they showed the required attention towards this aggression.”

The plan of action set out by the new presidential body aims to enhance the representation of women within the institutions of the Syrian opposition and in the decision-making process, Seif said. He called on the European Union to coordinate efforts with the United Nations to help find a solution for around 10 million Syrians who do not have travel documents.

For her part, Mogherini described the meeting with the Coalition delegation as important for her and her team. She reaffirmed full political support for the Syrian opposition and its participation in the Geneva process. She also pledged to support SIG projects.

The EU is already supporting projects aimed at bolstering the resilience of the Syrian people, the EU foreign policy chief said. The EU is looking for ways step up efforts on the economic level to manage the post-conflict phase, she said, adding that the EU sees the Coalition and its institutions as key partners.

Mogherini stressed that the political process in Geneva is the “basis” for any solution, pointing out that it however may not be the only path to reach a political solution. For the EU, the Astana agreements may be useful in helping to reduce violence on the ground.

Mogherini expressed concerns about division of Syria, stressing that the EU believes that Syria must remain united and highlighting the need for all sides to work for this end despite the difficulty of this mission.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 02.06.2017)

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