The UK today hosted a working-level international meeting to consider further political and non-lethal practical support to the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. This was opened by Foreign Secretary William Hague and chaired by his Special Representative to the Opposition, Jon Wilks. The meeting was attended by Syrian Coalition Leaders and representatives including President Sheikh Ahmed Mu’az Al-Khatib and Vice-Presidents Suheir Atassi and Riad Seif and a wide range of international partners.
Participants welcomed the formation of the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and recognised the agreement reached in Doha on 11 November as an important milestone towards a political transition in Syria. They agreed on the importance of the Coalition finalising its inclusive political structure and establishing an office, and publicly endorsing respect for human rights, the principles of international law, and full humanitarian access.
The Coalition agreed to establish a mechanism to co-ordinate international assistance and the international participants committed to support the Coalition in building capacity to provide basic services, humanitarian assistance, and support to local councils and international coordination. They also committed to continue to work to assist local assistance councils and grassroots organisations, including in liberated areas.
The meeting also agreed that addressing the humanitarian situation was an urgent priority, that the international community should increase its assistance, and that the Coalition should establish mechanisms to co-ordinate this in co-operation with the UN. Finally all participants made clear that they should work to increase pressure on the regime to end its brutal assault on the Syrian people.