impact on surrounding countries that are seeing their lives affected as a consequence of the outflow of refugees. killed in the most wanton violence, and who are having an increasingly profound
John Kerry also said, this war will not come to an end on the battlefield, I believe, and I think most people believe. It will come to an end through a negotiated settlement.
John Kerry also said, “We believe that the path of war will simply lead to the implosion of the state of Syria. It will lead to the rise of extremist groups and extremism itself. It will lead to more refugees spilling over the borders and putting strains on surrounding countries.”
"The Geneva communiqué is more than a piece of paper, and it should not be a forgotten level of diplomacy. It is a road map that leads to a new future, and it’s a future that can end the bloodshed in Syria, can respond to the humanitarian catastrophe, and it rids the country of violent extremist groups. That’s our goal," John Kerry said at the press conference.
Syrian opposition sets conditions for talks
It is learnt that the Syrian opposition will not attend talks in Geneva seeking to resolve the conflict unless several conditions are met, including the removal of Bashar al-Asad, the president. “We cannot be part of those responsible for shedding the blood of our people,” Syrian opposition chief Ahmad Jarba said at a press conference on Tuesday following talks in London. The conditions include safe passage in besieged areas, the release of detained men, women and children, and setting a fixed timetable for all the phases of negotiation.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the London meeting had urged the Coalition to “commit fully” to the Geneva II conference. “When the transitional governing body is established, Asad and his close associates with blood on their hands will have no role in Syria,” declared the London 11 meeting. On the other hand, Ahmed Jarba, President of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said in his opening remarks at the talks that Assad could not stay. “Geneva cannot succeed and we cannot take part if it allows Asad to gain more time to spill the blood o our people while the world looks on.”
Hague told the press conference after the meeting that they had agreed a “a number of important steps,” while urging the coalition to commit itself to the Geneva conference:
“First, we agreed that we would put our united and collective weight behind the UN-led Geneva II process, which must lead to establishing by mutual consent a Transitional Governing Body with full executive powers as set out in the Communiqué in 2012. By definition that means that it can only be agreed with the consent of the Syrian National Coalition. So Assad will play no role in that future Government of Syria.
“Second, despite the enormous challenges faced by the Syrian opposition, we urged the National Coalition to commit itself fully to the Geneva II process and to lead and form the heart of any opposition delegation. Geneva offers the Syrian people the best hope to improve their lives.
“Third, we agreed with them that we will provide the intensive political and practical support that will be required to give the Geneva II process the best chance of success.
“Fourth, we agreed a set of principles, attached to , that underline the unity of our approach to the Geneva II process as the Friends of Syria core group.”
“We agreed the Syrian opposition, including the moderate armed groups, and moderate opposition represented by the coalition continue to need our strong collective backing. There can be no peaceful and political settlement in Syria without the participation of the moderate opposition. So we pledged further support to them,” said British Foreign Secretary.
Mentioning about the humanitarian disaster in Syria, Foreign Secretary said, “None of us has lost sight of the deepening humanitarian disaster. As winter approaches, the risks are growing to the nearly 7 million Syrians in need. This is compounded still further by the actions of the regime. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said yesterday that the UN continues to be denied access on the ground to those in need of humanitarian assistance.”
“This is unacceptable and full and uninhibited access for humanitarian aid to people in need must be allowed,” said Mr. Hague. .
British Foreign Secretary also mentioned, “The UK is the second largest humanitarian donor to the Syria conflict with over £500 million of aid allocated to date. Yesterday, we announced a further £15.5 million of lifesaving support to Palestinian refugees both inside Syrian and in neighbouring countries. This will include food for over 150,000 people and clothing for people in need of urgent help.”
When we last met, we spoke with one voice about the need to move towards a transitional government with full executive authority by mutual consent. Those are not my words; those are the words of the Geneva communiqué of June 2012, known as Geneva 1. And in that communiqué, the United Nations and other representative entities in many countries, including Russia, signed on to a communiqué which called for a transition government in Syria.”
Kerry also mentioned, “What we did today was increase our commitment to the convening of the Geneva conference for the specific purpose of implementing the Geneva 1 communiqué. We agreed to increase today our coordinated assistance to the opposition, including to the Syrian Opposition Coalition – the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. And we also committed to do more to assist the brave people who are on the ground in Syria. We also agreed to direct military aid exclusively through the Supreme Military Council from those countries that have chosen to do so or are able to do so, as they fight – that is, the Supreme Military Council fights to curtail the influence of extremists, to isolate the extremists, and to change the balance on the ground.”
About the humanitarian assistance, Kerry said, “United States has committed a significant amount of funding to both the humanitarian effort and to the effort to assist the Syrian opposition. We’ve now totalled shy of $2 billion, a large – the largest proportion of it, I might add, humanitarian assistance. And we are proud that the United States is the largest humanitarian donor in order to try to address the growing humanitarian catastrophe that exists on the ground.”
“President Obama recently announced that the United States will provide an additional $339 million in humanitarian assistance on top of the more than billion that we’ve already put in. But one thing is clear, and one thing really was made even more clear in the meetings that we had this morning: I don’t know anybody, including,” said Kerry and added, “This war will not come to an end on the battlefield, I believe, and I think most people believe. It will come to an end through a negotiated settlement.”
Kerry said, “But we believe that the London 11 that came together today, Europeans and Arabs, Turks, members of this support group, came together and all agreed that it is imperative that we try to get to the negotiating table and try to save the lives and to save the existence of the state of Syria itself.The only alternative to a negotiated settlement is continued, if not increased, killing.”
"The Geneva communique is more than a piece of paper, and it should not be a forgotten level of diplomacy. It is a road map that leads to a new future, and it’s a future that can end the bloodshed in Syria, can respond to the humanitarian catastrophe, and it rids the country of violent extremist groups. That’s our goal," Kerry said.
US Secretary of State also mentioned, “What we seek is a unified, pluralistic Syria, one that is representative of all of its people’s aspirations, one that protects minority and majority alike, all religions, all points of view, all politics, all sectarian affiliations – Kurds, Christians, Druze, Ismaili, Alawi, and any other minority group must be protected. So that is our goal.”
The Friends of Syria Core Group of countries – the ‘London 11’ – unanimously welcome the agreement by the UN Security Council on 27 September on the urgent need for political transition and its endorsement of the Geneva communiqué, the objective of which is the formation by mutual consent of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers, including over security, military and intelligence structures. . We agree that when the TGB is established, Assad and his close associates with blood on their hands will have no role in Syria. There must be accountability for acts committed during the present conflict.”
The Communiqué also said, “We welcome progress made on Geneva II preparations and pledge our full backing for the Joint Special Representative. We underline the need for intensive preparations for Geneva II, which, subject to further progress, could take place in November. The process should move forward as set out in paragraphs 10 onwards. We urge the National Coalition to commit to the Geneva II process, with all parties accepting the June 2012 Geneva Communiqué. The London 11 recognise the considerable challenges faced by the opposition. We will step up our joint efforts to channel support to the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army. We will continue to provide enhanced support to build the capacity of the opposition to deliver basic needs on the ground.”
“The Geneva II conference must lead to a political transition based on the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012, while preserving the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian State.
“The future Syria must be democratic, pluralistic, and respectful of human rights and of the rule of law. Every citizen must enjoy full equality before the law regardless of his religious or ethnic background.
“The Conference must achieve two main aims:
(a) the establishment, by mutual consent, of a TGB with full executive powers with control over all governmental institutions, including the armed forces, security services and intelligence apparatuses. The TGB must be the only source of legitimacy and legality in Syria, and any elections in Syria must be conducted within the framework of the political transition;
(b) the adoption, by the parties, of a declaration on the principles, steps and timeframe of the political transition to democracy.
“Negotiations to form the TGB must not be open-ended. Delaying tactics should not be tolerated. It should be possible with the commitment and good faith of both sides to establish the TGB expeditiously within the coming months.
“The Geneva II process must lead to tangible benefits to the Syrian people:
(a) immediately, as set out in the Geneva Communiqué:
(i) all arbitrarily detained persons must be released, starting with the most vulnerable;
(ii) humanitarian access in the whole country must be allowed, including through local ceasefires (as well as cross line and cross border operations into and within Syria as subsequently stated in the Security Council Presidential Statement of October 2, 2013);
(jj) all sides should urgently create conducive conditions for the return of refugees and meet the needs of the internally displaced persons concentrated in certain areas who seek refuge and protection;
(iii) the Syrian regime must end the siege of urban areas and the indiscriminate attacks against civilians, in particular through air bombardment and the use of ballistic missiles, cluster bombs and explosive barrels;
(iv) journalists must be guaranteed freedom of movement throughout the country and freedom of peaceful demonstration and expression must be protected; and
(v) instructions must be given to Syrian embassies to deliver and renew passports of Syrian citizens without discrimination;
(b) in the course of negotiations, all parties must put an end to the use of heavy weapons, and the withdrawal of foreign combatants out of Syria must be secured; and
(c) as of the establishment of the TGB, all parties must cooperate with the TGB in ensuring the permanent cessation of violence.”