The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic, in his address to the General Assembly yesterday (see A/76/PV.16), indicated that the Syrian Government has always been open to any genuine and impartial political initiatives or efforts to assist the Government in ending the crisis that targeted the State and the people of Syria, despite the obstacles placed by countries that have no interest in these continued efforts to achieve stability in Syria while maintaining our national pillars.
The Syrian Government has facilitated the launch of the work of the Constitutional Committee by contributing to reaching an agreement on the formation and rules of procedure of the Committee. The Government also stressed the need for the process to be Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, without any foreign intervention or any attempt to impose artificial deadlines or advance conclusions to the work of the Committee, given that the constitution and anything related thereto is a Syrian matter to be determined by the Syrians themselves, pursuant to the principle of the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. It is an established principle that is reaffirmed by all relevant Security Council resolutions on the situation in my country.
The Syrian Government is continuing to cooperate with the Special Envoy, Mr. Pedersen, and we welcomed his visit to Damascus on 11 and 12 September, where he conducted constructive discussions. We also welcome what Mr. Pedersen noted in his briefing about his intention to issue invitations to the sixth session of the Constitutional Committee, to be held in Geneva in October.
We reaffirm the need for the Special Envoy to maintain his role as a facilitator and to convey what he sees in an impartial, neutral and objective manner.
The recent settlements and reconciliation in Dara’a governorate prove once again that the Syrian Government is keen to restore security and stability to all parts of the country while ensuring the safety of its citizens and ending the bloodshed of innocents. The patience and wisdom of the Syrian leadership, along with the efforts of our Russian friends, helped to reach an agreement to restore stability in the areas that witnessed tensions recently in Dara’a and its rural area, in south-west Syria. That also allowed residents to return home safely and peacefully.
The role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security was used by some to interfere in the affairs of my country and to disrupt security and stability in Syria over the past 10 years. We must therefore speak out to expose those practices and call on those countries to end that disruptive behaviour and to learn from the lessons of their failed and senseless wars of past years.
The war imposed on us by Governments known to all, through varied and diverse means, has claimed the lives of many. That war has undermined the achievements of an ancient civilization and has led to the loss of the significant development gains made by the Syrian people over many decades. It is high time to put an end to this war and to end the illegitimate foreign military presence on Syrian territories, including the United States military forces in the north-east and the Turkish military forces in the north-west. They must withdraw fully. We call for the immediate lifting, without any preconditions, of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States of America and the European Union, and for support to be provided to the efforts of the Syrian State and its allies to combat terrorism, restore security and stability, and rebuild and rehabilitate the damaged infrastructure.
Recovery projects and resilience support for all sectors must start early, particularly for those of water, energy, education, health care and others, to provide basic services to the Syrian people and improve their living and humanitarian situation, in addition to facilitating the safe and dignified return of displaced persons and refugees to their homes.
To achieve that objective, all relevant Syrian parties are intensifying their efforts to facilitate such a voluntary return and guarantee that the basic needs of returnees are met. To that end, we have taken many measures and issued a number of decrees.
It is unfortunate that the efforts of the Syrian State and friendly countries are faced with the attempts of some to exploit the suffering of the Syrian people and leverage that suffering to achieve aims that are far from being humanitarian objectives and do not serve the interests of the Syrian people, including by relying on the reports of committees that have proved time and again that they are politicized mechanisms and are not professional, objective or credible in their work. Their main objective is to issue reports that will allow certain hostile countries to defame Syria’s image.
I must also refer to the aggressive and destructive practices carried out by the Turkish regime on Syrian territories through its support for terrorism and by killing, destroying, Turkification and the plundering of Syrian wealth. They are even using water as a tool to serve their political games and as a weapon against millions of Syrian citizens to achieve political and regional gains in total disregard for the principles of international law, international humanitarian law and international and bilateral instruments and agreements, as well as the principle of good-neighbourliness.
My country reiterates its call to the Security Council and the Secretariat to shoulder their responsibilities to put an end to the crimes of the Turkish occupation and to end the presence of its military forces on the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic