Peace Talks With Conditions
The US State Department welcomed the decision of Syrian Coalition’s decision to attend the peace talks “Geneva II Conference.”
Syrian rebels may attend peace talks with a condition that President Bashar al-Assad will be ousted and not included in any transition process.
In a press statement, Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US welcomes the Syrian Coalition’s decision to participate in the Geneva II conference.
Ms. Psaki saw participation of the Syrian rebels as a significant step forward in the process to convene the Geneva conference, the goal of which is the full implementation of the Geneva Communique and establishing by mutual consent of the two negotiating delegations a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers.
The peace talks are to be held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Negotiations Vital To End Bloodshed
Ms. Psaki said the Department of State sees negotiations as the best opportunity to end the bloodshed.
She also highlighted the inclusion of representatives of the Kurdish National Coalition within the Syrian Coalition, ensuring the Coalition is more inclusive of Syria’s diversity.
She said participation by a representative body of the moderate opposition at a Geneva conference, political and armed, is not only essential to moving toward a political transition, but to the future of all Syrians.
Humanitarian Issues To Be Discussed In The Peace Talks
Ms. Psaki highlighted that the Coalition sees the need for progress on humanitarian issues ahead of a Geneva II meeting, notably permitting humanitarian access to besieged areas and the release of female and child prisoners.
The United States echoed the calls by humanitarian organizations for the Syrian government and other parties to the conflict to facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need.
In addition, the US also called for the release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, particularly women and children.
The US pledged to continue to work closely with its international partners, including the Russians, to make progress on these humanitarian issues.
US Aid To Syria
The violence in Syria, began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa.
In November 2012, the United States of America provided $30 million in additional humanitarian assistance to respond to the needs of Syrian people affected by the turmoil.
In Syria, the additional funding allowed for provision of food aid to families in need.
In neighboring countries, the additional assistance from the United States provided food supplies, hot meals, and food vouchers for families who fled the violence in Syria.
Additional assistance was provided through the World Food Program (WFP), for food aid to 1.5 million people in Syria and the refugees who fled to neighboring countries.
The United States is the largest donor of food aid for those affected by the conflict in Syria through WFP.
In August 2012, with the violence engulfing Syria, the United States of America announced an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid at that time to more than $76 million.
The U.S. government continues to urge and end to the escalating violence which uprooted hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
Humanitarian needs continued to grow when the number of Syrians displaced to neighboring countries exceeded 130,000, with nearly 1.5 million in need inside Syria, including a UN-estimated one million internally displaced persons.
Syrian violence led to a crisis on a humanitarian scale that is of the highest priority within the U.S. government, and for which the US pledged to continue to provide support.
In April 2012, with the deteriorating situation in Syria due to turmoil, the United States of America bolstered efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in the country.
At that time, the UN estimated that the number of Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance exceeded 2 million. Of that number, an estimated 300,000 were internally displaced.
United States dedicated some $33 million to support, assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries.