SYRIAN OPPOSITION COALITION OFFICE
GAINS FOREIGN MISSION STATUS IN WASHINGTON
Washington (May 5, 2014) - The Syrian Opposition Coalition, the alliance of moderate military and political groups fighting for a free and democratic Syria, has been officially granted diplomatic status today, with their Washington office formally being recognized as a Foreign Mission in the US.
The announcement by the U.S. State Department comes as Ahmad Jarba, President of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, is in Washington on his first official visit. President Jarba is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry, Senior White House Officials, and leaders on Capitol Hill, in addition to others in the foreign policy community and the Syrian American community.
“This is an important step in the path toward a new Syria, its recognition on the international stage, and its relations with Syrian nationals in the US. The new status provides a diplomatic platform for the Coalition to advance the interests of the Syrian people at all levels. This is a diplomatic blow against Assad's legitimacy and demonstrates how far the opposition has progressed,” said President Jarba.
Today’s announcement by the U.S. State Department builds on the U.S. government’s 2012 political recognition of the Syrian Opposition Coalition as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. Munzer Akbik, Chief of Staff to President Jarba added, "We appreciate the United States' support of the Syrian people's struggle for freedom and democracy. This recognition lays the groundwork for continuing diplomatic relations between the Syrian people and the American people."
The State Department shuttered the Assad regime’s Washington Embassy, along with several regional consulates, and sent their diplomats away, about six weeks ago.
“We pledge to Syrians that we will not take this status lightly,” President Jarba emphasized. “We intend to use this recognition as a diplomatic platform to represent the Syrian people, to advocate for services and assistance to benefit the millions of Syrians inside and outside the country who are in need, and to push for an end to the killing as soon as possible.”