The fourth visit of the UN envoy to Damascus to discuss the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee

The United Nations special envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen arrived to Damascus, and met with the Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al Miqdad, on Monday.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on its social media sites that: “The two sides stressed the importance of ensuring that external interference is not involved in the affairs of the Constitution Debate Committee and that all this process is carried out under the leadership and ownership of Syria and that no timetables are set for its work imposed from outside”.

Pederson had said upon his arrival to Syria yesterday that: “My discussions in Damascus will focus on Resolution 2254, and there are many issues that I hope we will talk about, on top of which is the difficult situation the Syrian people are experiencing”.

During the meeting, al Miqdad stressed “the importance of the special envoy preserving his role as a neutral facilitator and that the committee, since it was formed and started its work, has become a lady of itself and it is the one that decides on the recommendations that can come out with and how its work proceeds with the assurance that the Syrian people have the exclusive right to decide the future of his country”.

The statement added that the meeting “touched on the political track and the economic situation, and views were agreed that unilateral economic coercive measures make this situation more difficult, especially in light of the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic”.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also pointed out that “the US and Turkish occupation of the Syrian lands, the practices of the Turkish occupation in northeastern Syria, and its support for terrorists in Syria violate the Syrian sovereignty and violate international law and all Security Council resolutions related to Syria.

The Syrian Foreign Minister also noted: “The humanitarian consequences of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people despite the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the criminal and repressive practices of the SDF militia against the Syrian people in the governorates of Hasakah, Raqqa and Deir al Zour”.

Faisal al Miqdad called on the United Nations to raise its voice in accordance with the Charter and international resolutions issued by the Security Council in the face of all these practices and to take a clear stance on them in accordance with the principles and objectives on which international humanitarian law is based.

The Syrian Foreign Minister called on the Human Rights Council to place the grave and systematic violations resulting from the unilateral American and European coercive measures against the Syrian people as its top priority.

Pederson’s visit is the fourth to Syria since he took office at the beginning of last year, and days after the meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee were held in Geneva.

In a related context, al Miqdad explained in a speech via video conference during the work of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva: “Those who claim that these coercive measures do not affect ordinary citizens are lying because they only affect these citizens in their basic needs.

Once again, Syria’s determination to continue fighting terrorism and to exercise its legal right to end any illegal presence on its territory”.

al Miqdad added: “Fifteen years after the establishment of this council, we regret that Western countries continue to use the council’s platform and mechanisms to impose a double-standards and selective approach in dealing with human rights, accusing states inconsistent with their political orientations and stigmatizing them as a violation of human rights and taking that as a pretext to intervene in Its internal affairs”.