High Negotiations Committee: "US Caesar Act to sanction Syrian regime will stifle it"

Editing Amena Riyad | Translation Glory Jabr | Translation Editing Vera Halvorsen 🕔 Publication Date: January 23, 2019, 8:52:51 PM wire POLITICSECONOMY & BUSINESS Syria Supreme Commission for Negotiations

Turkey - SMART

On Wednesday, the High Negotiations Committee stated that the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which was approved by the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday to sanction the Syrian government and its supporters, will stifle the Syrian government economically.

The Caesar Act is named after the photographer with the code-name Caesar, who was a member of the Syrian government military police. Caesar leaked 50,000 photos of prisoners who were tortured to death in Syrian government prisons, allowing the world to see and families to identify their loved ones. In mid-December 2015, the Human Rights Watch announced that the photos are blatant evidence of the Syrian government's crimes against humanity.

The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, which was founded during the Riyadh II Conference in 2015, aims to form a negotiating delegation that represents the Syrian Revolution Forces in the Geneva talks.

The HNC spokesman Dr. Yehia al-Aridi said that the Caesar Act will force the Syrian government's supporters to attend more "serious" negotiations than the government itself. The Syrian government was "always evading (negotiations), and received support from Russia to survive, but now everyone wants its neck because the sanctions are considerable," according to al-Aridi.

Al-Aridi noted that the Caesar Act stifles the Syrian government economically and will affect its supporters and those who deal with it, adding that the sanctions are wide-reaching and cannot be avoided.

Al-Aridi said, "As long as the regime seeks to block a political solution to the conflict in Syria, the sanctions will be increased and extends to its supporters."

On his Twitter, the head of the National Coalition for the Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Opposition, Abdul Rahman Mustafa, said that the Caesar Act and the broader European sanctions against the Syrian government are correct and must be implemented effectively without further delay.

Mustafa added that the sanctions must be accompanied by legal procedures to prevent those implicated from impunity, and practical solutions must be implemented in accordance with international resolutions and the Geneva Convention.

On Tuesday, the European Union issued new economic sanctions against the Syrian government, including individuals and companies directly linked to the Syrian government.

In a statement, the EU said that its leaders met in Brussels and agreed to expand the sanctions against the Syrian government by adding the names of 11 Syrian individuals and five institutions linked to the Syrian government.

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Editing Amena Riyad | Translation Glory Jabr | Translation Editing Vera Halvorsen 🕔 Publication Date: January 23, 2019, 8:52:51 PM wire POLITICSECONOMY & BUSINESS Syria Supreme Commission for Negotiations
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