Washington, DC - The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) expresses its solidarity with the High Negotiating Committee (HNC) of the Opposition, and its commitment to participating in Geneva talks despite impossible conditions. The talks, which have now been suspended, reflect an international community, led by the US, that is more interested in the existence of a process than the pursuit of peace. While Western diplomats and officials can return to their home countries and discuss the efforts made in Geneva, Syrians continue to die by the hundreds each day, and conditions in besieged areas deteriorate.
The Assad government, Russian diplomats, and several western officials criticised the HNC's "stubbornness," when they asked for meager humanitarian concessions during the start of talks. These requests include the release of political prisoners, an end to sieges, and a cessation of indiscriminate bombings in civilian areas. Flouting the spirit of talks and the international system, Russia and the regime have only increased their illegal and inhumane behavior, continuing to deny aid access, besieging whole cities, and indiscriminately bombing civilian neighborhoods. Each of these acts defies UN Security Council resolutions adopted unanimously, including Russia. As the UN announced today that talks were "not a failure" the regime and Russian planes cut vital supply lines to the city of Aleppo, further evidence of their commitment to a military solution.
Adding insult to injury, a confidential memorandum from UN Special Envoy Stephan de Mistura admits that the UN could not possibly "monitor or enforce" any kind of ceasefire inside of Syria. Under such conditions, how can commitments made during peace negotiations be considered meaningful?
"The regime and its backers have complete contempt for the international order," said CDS board member Muna Jondy. "They have consistently skirted, ignored or openly violated UN Security Council resolutions with no fear of consequence or accountability. It is obvious that short of a credible threat of force from the West, the regime will remain uninterested in peace."