Statement on Syria

Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 12, 2013

We welcome the Syrian Coalition’s decision to participate in the Geneva II conference. This is a significant step forward in the process to convene the Geneva conference, the goal of which is the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and establishing by mutual consent of the two negotiating delegations a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers. Negotiations represent the best opportunity to end the bloodshed. We also welcome the inclusion of representatives of the Kurdish National Council within the Syrian Coalition, ensuring the Coalition is more inclusive of Syria’s diversity. 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.

The Coalition cited 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 echoes the calls by humanitarian organizations for the Syrian government and other parties to the conflict to facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need, including the Damascus suburbs of Muadhamiyah and eastern Ghouta and the region of Homs. We also call for the release of all arbitrarily detained prisoners, particularly women and children. We will continue to work closely with our international partners, including the Russians, to make progress on these humanitarian issues.

PRN: 2013/1395