Jawad Abu Hatab, former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Aleppo University, based in Idlib
Excerpts from Joint Statement:
Cessation of Hostilities
Ensuring Humanitarian Access
Advancing a Political Transition the norm
"Since this went into effect today at 00:01 in Damascus, we have seen an overall decrease in violence in these areas, even though there have been reports of continued fighting in some locations.
To ensure this continues in a sustainable way, we are coordinating closely with Russia to finalize enhanced monitoring efforts of this renewed cessation."
Via Al-Monitor (RT @aronlund)
“I think it will be much more efficient in terms of the day-to-day exchange of information, assessments and day-to-day [elaboration] of response measures,” Lavrov said at a news conference with de Mistura May 3. The United States and Russia have been video conferencing between centers in Amman and Khmeimim (a Syrian air base Russia uses), and only on several occasions have the heads of those centers met face to face.
“Right now we will have a permanent monitoring center where United States and Russian counterparts will be sitting at the same table,” Lavrov said. “They will be looking at the same maps. They will be analyzing proposals and they will work together to make sure that any violations are nipped in the bud. Probably this is a major step forward toward a more intensive coordination of the efforts by Russia and the US and with the US-led anti-terrorist coalition generally.”
1. Nusra & pro-Turk allies started it by attacking goverment zone & Kurd neighbourhoods
2. Assad had Palmyra & Deir ez-Zor agenda (liberate army who was held hostage) and Russia had earned legitimacy and shown "hard-power".
3. Syrian Army was heading towards Deir ez-Zor and Tabqa military base near Raqqa: With coordination IS could be chased from Raqqa in automn.
(…) we are working over these next hours intensely in order to try to restore the cessation of hostilities, and at the same time to raise the level of accountability that will accompany the day-to-day process of implementing the ceasefire. To that effect Russia and the United States have agreed that there will be additional personnel who will work from here in Geneva on a daily basis, 24/7, in order to – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – in order to try to make sure that there is a better job and a better ability to be able to enforce the cessation of hostilities day to day.
I will be talking later today by telephone with Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Staffan de Mistura will be traveling to Moscow tomorrow for meetings.
Our hope is that over the course – as soon as possible; we’re trying to press this as fast as is possible, but I don’t want to make any promises that can’t be kept. So we are trying in the next hours to see if it is possible to reach agreement that can not just re-implement cessation, but create a path forward for the cessation to hold so that there isn’t one day of silence or two days of silence, but an ongoing process that relieves the people of Syria from this devastation (...)
He will hold presidential elections if the people ask for it.
It is better that the President is elected by citizens not parliament
After new constitution, parliamentary elections to be held and everyone with Syrian passport, in or outside Syria, to vote
(found by a Tweet by @SyriaInstitute)
4 areas reached (Madaya, Zabadani, Kafreya, Foah)
Six pending permits
Permits for 15 locations granted
Effort to reach 1.1 million people to end of April
Ten areas reached
Six pending permits
Airdrop preparations for ISIS-siege in progress
238,485 people reached by 536 trucks, 870,000 to be reached from now to April
Jan Egeland: April will be “the month of new procedures,” noting that these have been “too cumbersome” with too much time spent asking for permission for access.
Y. El Hillo: “Looking at the horizon between now and April, we are aiming to reach 870,000 people in hard-to-reach areas, but also the specific locations in besieged areas that we have so far not been able to reach”
S. De Mistura: “We believe that having a timetable and a time limit is healthy for everyone,” the Special Envoy noted. “When we start having the talks on Monday, the focus will be on substance, on the agendas, in other words on new governance, constitution, and elections, the future elections in 18 months’ time, both presidential and parliamentarian.”
Additional Contact Info to the U.S. Department of State #Syria Cessation of Hostilities coordination team:
"A cessation of hostilities in the civil war is scheduled to take effect this weekend." —@POTUS on Syria:
reference to ISIL operations
الرئيس اوباما حول الهدنة في #سوريا: الأيام القادمة ستكون حاسمة والعالم سيراقب.
Citing US "Hydna Coordination Team in Washington D.C." and "US team in Geneva"
Retweeted by MFA Russia
Russian Centre for reconciliation in Syria delivered humanitarian aid to Maalula & al-Husenia pic.twitter.com/o9cRJLRbKv
“We are quite pleased about the fact that [humanitarian assistance] was able to reach 82,000 people,” Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters following a conference call in Geneva with the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), comprising the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations, and 17 countries.
It was the second time since last week that Mr. de Mistura discussed with representatives of the ISSG humanitarian access issues. Despite aid being delivered to some besieged areas of Syria thanks to the cessation of hostilities agreement reached last week in Munich, it is only the “beginning of the task” assigned to the group, according to the envoy’s Special Advisor, Jan Egeland.
“We discussed the next phase, which is to reach all of the remaining besieged areas of Syria and we should be able to do so before the next meeting, which will be in a week,” he informed the press in his capacity as co-chair of the task force on humanitarian access established by the ISSG.
“We also hope by then to have progress in reaching the poor people inside of Deir ez-Zor, which is besieged by [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL/Da’esh]. That can only be done by air drops and the World Food Programme has now a concrete plan of doing so, many of the Member States support such operation, and it is probably one of the several cases in this sub-group where the coaches Russia and the United States have had an excellent cooperation,” Mr. Egeland continued.
He added that the main goal is to reach “all of the millions in hard to reach areas,” including Aleppo, where the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today reported that intense fighting continues, including through aerial bombardments."
Syrian Red Crescent Retweeted
Yesterday @SYRedCrescent was able to deliver relief aid to 5 hard-to-reach areas in #Syria http://www.ifrc.org/en/news-and-media/news-stories/middle-east-and-north-africa/syria/syrian-arab-red-crescent-delivers-relief-to-five-hard-to-reach-areas-through-collaboration-with-partners-71945/ …
Excerpts from above sources
Convenes today and next week
J. Kerry: “It will report weekly on progress or lack thereof to help ensure a consistent and timely and approve access moving forward. I will say that it was unanimous.”
Seven locations to be addressed immediately
Joint statement: “sustained delivery of assistance shall begin this week by air to Deir Ez Zour and simultaneously to Fouah, Kafrayah, the besieged areas of Rural Damascus, Madaya, Mouadhimiyeh, and Kafr Batna by land, and continue as long as humanitarian needs persist.”
(air delivery to be addressed by Russian/regime side)
Foreign Minister Lavrov: “ We welcome the readiness of the U.S. and some other countries to join operations that the Russian side, together with the Syrian Government, is carrying out to drop humanitarian assistance from aircraft in Deir al-Zor where there is the greatest number of civilians that are besieged. We have also agreed to use parachuting of humanitarian assistance in some other areas where it is possible. But the biggest part of efforts will – we will have to make on the ground.”
Secretary Kerry: “ISSG members will work together with the Syrian parties to ensure the immediate approval and the completion of all pending UN access requests. As everybody knows, there have been about 114 of them – only 13 or so, 14 approved – and that has to change.”
Joint Statement: The ISSG task force will, among other responsibilities continue to:
a) delineate the territory held by Daesh, ANF and other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council;
b) ensure effective communications among all parties to promote compliance and rapidly de-escalate tensions;
c) resolve allegations of non-compliance; and
d) refer persistent non-compliant behavior by any of the parties to ISSG Ministers, or those designated by the Ministers, to determine appropriate action, including the exclusion of such parties from the arrangements for the cessation of hostilities and the protection it affords them.
The cessation of hostilities will commence in one week, after confirmation by the Syrian government and opposition, following appropriate consultations in Syria. During that week, the ISSG task force will develop modalities for the cessation of hostilities.
Secretary Kerry: over the coming week this group will work to develop the modalities for a long-term, comprehensive, and durable cessation of violence, of hostilities. We will begin to exercise our influence by the commitment of every country at the table immediately for a significant reduction in violence as we work towards the full cessation of hostilities.
Foreign Minister Lavrov: As you probably know, during all these months we had quite an emotional discussion on who is targeting right targets – who is striking at right targets, who is striking at wrong targets. We have been proposing on many occasions to deal with this issue of – professionally now, having the agreement that the task force will determine areas taken by Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusrah. We have made a very important practical step forward in this direction.
From the blog of a Resident Correspondent at UN Headquarters, New York.
Nabil Abi Saab @NabilAbiSaab 2016-01-21
HNC stands for High Negotiations Committee
CBM stands for confidence building measures
(similar RT of source by @LizSly)
As De Mistura has trouble on issuing invitations for attendees of Syrian talks - since parties “question the UN discretion in “finalising” the opposition list” - Council/ISSG consultation is requested for clarification of resolution 2254 concerning the Riyadh proceedings.
Should the High Negotiations Committee, established by Riyadh meeting, be “THE” opposition delegation?
“Other Syrians, who did not attend or were not invited to the Riyadh meeting in December, speak to their right to be invited simultaneously and on equal footing, and are supported by some ISSG members in this.”
Also introduces the notion of “proximity talks” (as opposed to direct talks and all people around the same table)
"I can no longer rely on the ambiguity of resolution 2254 in this respect. The resolution refers to the particular usefulness of the Riyadh meeting. Indeed after five years of a divided and quarrelling opposition, the HNC’s establishment is a notable achievement."
"I cannot proceed further with issuing invitations unless the countries spearheading the ISSG process can come to an understanding first."
"25. I am aware that parties have a different understanding of the concept of talks or formal negotiations. Some prefer face-to-face negotiations, others reject thematic sub-groups. I intend to operationally translate this process in organising meetings and engagement as appropriate (plenaries, bi/trilats, caucus meetings, proximity talks). I simultaneously commit to holding regular process review meetings with the primary parties and ISSG partners. I will also regularly engage with women and civil society, in an appropriate format and would expect them, and through them the Syrians, to hold the process honest. "
"The term caucus is also used in mediation, facilitation and other forms of alternate dispute resolution to describe circumstances wherein, rather than meeting at a common table, the disputants retreat to a more private setting to process information, agree on negotiation strategy, confer privately with counsel and/or with the mediator, or simply gain "breathing room" after the often emotionally difficult interactions that can occur in the common area where all parties are present.
The degree to which caucuses are used can be a key defining element, and often an identifier, of the mediation model being used. For example, "facilitative mediation" tends to discourage the use of caucuses and tries to keep the parties talking at a single table, while "evaluative mediation" may allow parties to separate more often and rely on the mediator to shuttle information and offers back and forth."
Syria opposition reveals names of negotiators http://gettopical.com/riyadh/2063c8091e7ccbee2ee08c5c87e46d02?src=twitter … via @SyrianHNC
via AFP - (found at Syria Deeply site)
Today on my blog: In New York for #Syria: geopolitics and human lives http://www.federicamogherini.net/in-new-york-for-syria-geopolitics-and-human-lives/?lang=en …
(tweet by Syria Deeply)
"The evacuation operation from Homs was carried out on Wednesday when a UN team and its partners moved about 700 people, including 30 wounded, from the Al Waer neighbourhood and transferred to Idlib governorate, as stipulated in a local ceasefire agreement."
"The spokesperson said the evacuation, in addition to the previous entry of humanitarian assistance on 5 December, made a significant change in the lives of more than 60,000 people with limited access to such assistance living inside Al Waer and the wider geographic area of Homs, one of the most heavily damaged cities in the Syrian war that erupted in 2011."
"Meanwhile, “initiatives like this one bring relief to besieged or isolated communities and have great value,” Mr. Haq quoted the envoy as saying. “They help the perception that a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the members of the International Syria Support Group is doable and that the UN can and will do its part.”"
[Washington Post Beirut bureau chief covering Syria]
Syrian opposition agrees to a platform & team for negotiations with the regime. Ahrar al-Sham's role still unclear washingtonpost.com/world/syrian-o…
Delegation composition - Information from the article:
(Western-backed) Syrian Opposition Coalition and (Damascus-based) National Coordination Body: 22 members
(Western-backed) Free Syrian Army groups (north and south): 8
Ahrar al-Sham (most radical rebel group - expresses strong doubts for regime tolerated opposition): 1
Army of Islam:1
Author bio excerpt from http://www.mei.edu/profile/robert-s-ford
R.S. Ford, former U.S. Ambassador to Syria (2011-14), Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2008-10)
Robert S Ford (...) in 2014 retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014. In this role Mr. Ford was the State Department lead on Syria, proposing and implementing policy and developing common strategies with European and Middle Eastern allies to try to resolve the Syria conflict. Prior to this, Mr. Ford was the Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2008 to 2010, and also served from 2006 until 2008 as the U.S. Ambassador to Algeria, where he boosted bilateral education and rule of law cooperation. Ford served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrain from 2001 until 2004, and Political Counselor to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 until 2006 during the tumultuous establishment of the new, permanent Iraqi government. In 2014 he received the Secretary’s Service Award, the U.S. State Department’s highest honor.
(Note: If direct link does not work, use http://video.state.gov/snappytv/ and selected from "Featured" the second video (which is entitled "Secretary Kerry's Remarks at Overseas Advisory Council's 30th Annual Briefing - Nov. 18")
(F. Mogherini is High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission)
At #SyriaTalksVienna. Most countries around table experience terrorist attacks: best answer is uniting & delivering
following the Vienna, November 14, 2015 meeting
Tweeted by EU External Action and US Department of State
#ISSG unanimously express urgency to end suffering & destruction in #Syria, destabilization & increase in terrorism http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/151114_03_en.htm …
Excerpt from ISSG statement:
"The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan agreed to help develop among intelligence and military community representatives a common understanding of groups and individuals for possible determination as terrorists, with a target of completion by the beginning of the political process under UN auspices."
(beginning of video available at link mentioned above)
"Here at the G-20, our nations have sent an unmistakable message—we are united against this threat." —@POTUS on our fight against ISIL
"For the 1st time, all the major countries on all sides of this Syrian conflict agree on the process that’s needed to end this war" —@POTUS
Tweeted by Middle East Institute @MiddleEastInst
"US President Barack Obama (L) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and US security
adviser Susan Rice (2nd L) prior to the opening session of the G-20 leaders summit in Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 15, 2015. (photo by REUTERS/Cem Oksuz)"
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/11/obama-progress-syria-diplomacy-fight-isis.html#ixzz3rrGpOkN0
Participants of the Meeting in Vienna, on October 30, 2015: China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States.
U.S. Embassy Vienna@usembvienna 7:24 PM - 30 Oct 2015
Department of State@StateDept 12:07 AM - 31 Oct 2015
Both US Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister reiterate the Joint Statement.
MR DE MISTURA:
Would you have imagined a few weeks ago that we would have been able to have what Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been asking for months, that the Russia and United States, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and many other countries are involved in this conflict in one form or the other, sitting on the same table, and today having both of you sitting here, having come with a meeting of seven hours. No one left the room. No one disagreed fundamentally on the major issues. There is, obviously, areas which have been not covered by an agreement. But look at the outcome – proof. They are going to meet again in this type of contact group, which we can call a special contact group for the peace in Syria – again, within 14 days.
MR DE MISTURA: The UN will do its work on that, of course, supported by the international players and partners, and we will be engaging both the Syrian authorities and the opposition in order to make sure that there are areas where we can do the ceasefires and humanitarian assistance. In any case, you will see that whenever there will be a message that there is a political process, the ceasefires will be, by far, easier to be achieved. That’s why the two things need to work in parallel.
SECRETARY KERRY: And the theory of the ceasefire is very simple: Certain parties control or influence people with guns and the ability to fight. And if we do reach an agreement with respect to some of the road forward, there would be a responsibility for those with influence and those with – those who have direct control over certain parties, they would control them. Obviously, with respect to Daesh and al-Nusrah, there is no ceasefire, there would be none, and those are the early parameters. But much more needs to be discussed between militaries, the politics. There’s work yet to be done, but there is a fundamental concept in mind that could bring even greater capacity to do the humanitarian aid to even restore people’s ability to come out of being a refugee back to a home. There are all kinds of possibilities, but they remain to be explored.
F. Mogherini: "There is hope for a political process to start under the UN auspices".
EU External Action @eu_eeas 30 Oct 2015
Final declaration on the results of the #SyriaTalks in Vienna as agreed by participants
"7. Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communique and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the U.N. to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections. These elections must be administered under U.N. supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate."
EU External ActionCompte certifié@eu_eeas 5:59pm · 30 Oct 2015
TEXT @FedericaMog speaks to the press after meeting @JZarif in Vienna for #SyriaTalks http://www.eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/151029_02_en.htm …
"In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr. Pinheiro told delegates that it is time to give “full and effective support to the ‘de Mistura plan’,” a new political approach to solving the conflict presented in late July by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.
The plan calls for consultations and discussions with the Syrian parties in four thematic working groups: safety and protection for all; political and legal issues; military, security and counterterrorism issues; and continuity of public services and reconstruction and development."
(SNC: Syrian National Coalition)
Media need to stand by the UN-facilitated Syrian dialogue which is in progress (backed up by the UN Security Council on 2015-08-17)
2015-09-17: De Mistura met with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem during his sixth visit to Damascus
2015-09-17: De Mistura met with Syria's main domestic opposition figure Hassan Abdel-Azim
Hassan Abdul Azim (L) (Reuters)
Note that it has been suggested in the media that Assad seeks a compromise with Syria’s moderate opposition and that he wishes to share power with them.
The National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change (NCC), (...) is a Syrian bloc chaired by Hassan Abdel Azim consisting of 13 left-wing political parties and "independent political and youth activists". It has been defined by Reuters as the internal opposition's main umbrella group.
US Special Envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein http://m.state.gov/md213571.htm
General Coordinator of the Coordination Commission Hassan Abdul Azim wrote the following message to the US Special Envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein:
"I send you best regards on behalf of the National Coordination Commission for Democratic Change and its Executive Office.
I would like to thank you for your concern about the Coordination Commission and its continuous efforts since it was established on June 25, 2011, to unify the Syrian opposition forces and its political vision inside Syria and abroad, including the Syrian National Coalition. There is no doubt you know that we have reached more than one agreement with the Coalition in the past. On our part, we were keen to implement these agreements, and in our last meeting between February 22 to 24 in Paris with an official delegation from the National Coalition, we reached a road-map for a political solution based on the Geneva Statement and the statement of the work group on Syria, issued on June 30, 2013."
"It was the first time in two years that the council agreed a political statement on Syria and French Deputy Ambassador Alexis Lamek hailed the newfound unity as "historic."
The 16-point statement drafted by France had been under negotiation since UN envoy Staffan de Mistura presented his new approach for peace talks to the council last month.
The peace initiative, set to begin in September, would set up four working groups to address safety and protection, counterterrorism, political and legal issues and reconstruction.
The council requested that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon report back to the council on the next phase of consultations led by his envoy within 90 days."
Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria
Here's the text of the #Syria statement the Security Council agreed just now http://www.scribd.com/doc/274894254/Syria-UNSA-Presidential-Statement …
17.08 Лавров встретится с главой МИД Ирана Дж.Зарифомhttps://www.
"We remain on the solid basis of the Geneva communiqué of June 30, 2012, which stipulates that overcoming the Syrian crisis should be addressed by way of talks between the Syrian government and the delegation representing all of the groups that are in opposition to it. All of the decisions concerning transitional steps and reforms in that country, and any and all decisions at talks between the government and the opposition, must be based on the mutual consent of the government and its opponents. That's all there is to it."
#Lavrov: The settlement in Syria can only be political and diplomatic, & negotiated by Syrian parties without any outside interference
On July 29, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, set out to the Council a new approach. “In order to work towards political negotiations and a political transition based on the Geneva Communiqué, four thematic areas need to be addressed through more focused consultations and discussions with the Syrian parties in four thematic working groups: safety and protection for all; political and legal issues; military, security and counterterrorism issues; and continuity of public services and reconstruction and development,” reminded the presidential statement.
Supporting this approach, the Security Council today urged all parties to engage “in good faith” in Special Envoy’s efforts, and to continue consultations and thematic discussions, building up on recent meetings in Moscow, Cairo, Paris and Astana. It added that rapid progress on a political solution should include full participation by all segments of Syrian society, including women.
“The Security Council requests that the Secretary-General report back to [it] on the results of the next phase of consultations within 90 days.”
Excerpt: "The Security Council today decided to establish for one year a Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which would identify “to the greatest extent feasible” individuals, entities, groups or Governments perpetrating, organizing, sponsoring or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria."
7 August 2015 – The United Nations Security Council today gave the greenlight for the establishment of a Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
(A wikipedia page has been created!)
Department of State retweeted
US Mission to the UN @USUN Aug 7
"Today the UN Security Council has taken another step aimed at stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria" —@AmbassadorPower
Department of State retweeted
UNSC res adopted today sends msg to those involved in chem weapons attacks in #Syria: intnl community now has tool to identify you & we will
Department of State retweeted
Samantha Power @AmbassadorPower Aug 7
Imagine for a moment if we asked an investigative team to determine whether certain atrocities occurred (...) but did not ask that team to determine who was involved in such brutal acts.
That is what the new UN OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism will do in response to incidents in Syria that involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons. The mechanism will gather evidence aimed at identifying the individuals and entities that have a hand in such attacks – and it will do all it can to name those individuals or entities.
To those who think that impunity will last forever for the perpetrators and all others involved in chemical weapons attacks – those who order chemical attacks, those who fill munitions with chemicals, those who drop chemical weapons – look at all of the perpetrators today who find themselves being forced to answer for acts committed years or even decades ago. Look at those who have been convicted for carrying out the genocide and war crimes in the Balkans, or those now being prosecuted in The Hague. Look at Hissene Habre, currently standing trial for atrocities he carried out in Chad three decades ago.
For perps of chem weapons attacks in Syria, impunity won't last forever—see Habre trial & those convicted yrs later for war crimes in Bosnia
EU External Action retweeted
Catherine Ray @CatherineEUspox Aug 7
On abuses & violations of human rights in #Syria & establishment of a mechanism to identify perpetrators of attacks http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/150807_02_en.htm …
"We therefore welcome the decision by the United Nations Security Council to establish a mechanism to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and urge all parties to abide by it. The EU is at the forefront of the efforts to put the Syrian chemical weapons under international control, leading to their eventual destruction, and has contributed significant funds to the Syrian chemical weapons operation led by the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)."
(tweeted by Kenneth Roth)
Mark Toner: We welcome De Mistura's proposal to form UN-led Syrian working groups to advance prospects for a political solution in #Syria.
Deputy Spox Mark Toner: We share De Mistura’s deep concern for the horrific violence and the humanitarian disaster unfolding in #Syria.
Post updated 2015-08-03
Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura:
"I now intend to invite Syrians to parallel thematic discussions through intra-Syrian working groups addressing the key aspects of the Geneva Communiqué,” safety and protection for all; political and constitutional Issues; military and security issues; public institutions; and reconstruction and development.
These working groups will start generating movement towards a “Syrian-owned framework document” on the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué, explained Mr. de Mistura, convinced that this effort should be led by a “Steering committee” composed of Syrians from these thematic groups and possibly elsewhere.
“The framework document will also provide for a transitional governing body, procedures for a national dialogue, the constitution drafting process and transitional justice issues,” continued the Special Envoy.
"The Secretary General said he stands ready to convene a “high-level international conference” to endorse any recommendations or agreement that the Syrian-led political process his Special Envoy intends to initiate may reach, including on the issue of the Transitional Governing Body."
Good piece looking at UN envoy de Mistura's character, choices, record in dealing with Syrian crisis by @janinedigi http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/30/staffan-de-mistura-man-with-toughest-job-in-world-syria …
(created when a Syria-related resolution was blocked by veto at the UN Security Council)
“International diplomatic collective of countries and bodies convening periodically on the topic of Syria outside the U.N. Security Council. The collective was created in response to a Russian and Chinese veto on a Security Council resolution condemning Syria; American president Barack Obama has stated that it was organized by the United States."
(Modified excerpt and excerpt)
In February 2012, France and Britain had drafted a resolution that condemned the Syrian government's violent crackdown on 11 months of protests and backed an Arab League peace plan that would see President Bashar al-Assad give up power.
Russia and China vetoed the resolution at the U.N. Security Council.
"France is not giving up," Sarkozy said in a statement, saying France was in touch with Arab and European partners to create a "Friends of the Syrian People Group" that would marshal international support to implement the Arab League plan."
"On 24 February 2012, the Friends of Syria met for the first time, in Tunis. Prior activities included a diplomatic push by Hillary Clinton and her associates like Anne-Marie Slaughter and Michael Hirsh, who wrote pieces in favour of intervention in the American press. Anne-Marie Slaughter imagined that Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would be able to create "no-kill zones", and argued that Syria was more central to American interests than Libya had been."
Tunisia's Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem (Center), Secreatary General of Arab League (Right).
Seventy nations participated in the conference held on 1 April 2012 to support Syrian opposition and increase pressure on the Syrian government.
Source: Associated Press
Conférence des Amis du peuple syrien (6 juillet 2012)
UK GOV (Foreign Office) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/friends-of-syrian-people-chairmans-conclusions
Images below from http://basedoc.diplomatie.gouv.fr/
Conférence du groupe des amis du peuple syrien: Exposition photographique dans le hall du CCM (Paris, Centre de Conférences ministérielles).
Photo de famille autour de Laurent Fabius, ministre des Affaires étrangères
(Note that only the "Core" of the organization, consisting of eleven countries, would convene at some later instances).
Rome, 28th February 2013 (around 50 countries)
Istanbul, 20th April 2013 (11 countries)
Amman, 22nd May 2013
Paris,12th January 2014 - Ministerial Meeting - Friends of Syria Core Group - 11 countries)
London, 15th May 2014 (Friends of Syria Core Group – 11 countries)