President of Syrian Coalition Meets With Secretary Kerry
Syrian Coalition Office to the United Nations
New York, NY
July 25, 2013
The President of the Syrian Coalition today met with Secretary of State Kerry to discuss the situation in Syria. Speaking after the meeting, Ahmad Al-Jarba, President of the Syrian Coalition said,
“I am very grateful to Secretary of State Kerry for American support for democracy in Syria. US support for the Syrian Coalition and an end to dictatorship is immensely important as my people face the violent repression of the Assad regime. I gave two messages to the Secretary:
- The situation in Syria is desperate. We urgently need American action to push the international community to demand a political transition. Almost every country agrees with this, but American leadership and drive is essential to end this war and bring the democracy that the large majority of the Syrian people want. The situation is worsening, the suffering is spreading, time is not on our side.
- The Assad regime is pursuing a military victory, using indiscriminate weapons, ranging from chemical weapons to cluster bombs. Until the regime has been forced to accept a political solution, we must have the means to protect ourselves. The US commitment of military support to the Supreme Military Council is vital, but it needs to happen fast, and in a way that allows us to defend ourselves and protect civilians. To deny us the right to self-defense is to risk that the regime will survive: thousands will be executed, the repression will continue without end.
I explained to Secretary Kerry that the Coalition fully understands American concerns about extremism and the possible diversion of military assistance. I confirmed that the Syria coalition is 100% committed to an inclusive democracy for all Syrians, regardless of religion or ethnicity. We absolutely condemn all terrorism and all attempts to turn Syria into what it is not, a monotheistic or totalitarian state. But we need American direct support to save democracy in Syria and to lead the world to force Assad at last to stand down.”
Note for the press: the President and the delegation of the Syria Coalition will be available for a press conference on Friday at the UN Correspondents Association, after meeting Security Council members.