ARA News – Exclusive
In an interview with ARA News, Marcel Kurpershoek, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Opposition (SNC) said that the Syrian people themselves will have to decide on the system of government for their country, be it centralized or federal.
Kurpershoek ascribed the failure of the international community to put an end to the three-year-old war in Syria to the biased positions of Russia and China regarding the conflict in Syria and their continuous support to the regime.
“The Syrian regime deceives the international community and has no intention to end the war. On the contrary, it continues to bomb the Syrian cities and bring killing and destruction to the country,” Kurpershoek said.
The Dutch ambassador pointed out that the international community will face difficulties in rebuilding Syria in the future due to the huge destruction caused by the regime forces to the cities and the country’s infrastructure.
“The peace talks at Geneva 2 were of no effect because the regime didn’t show any willingness to cooperate regarding the formation of a transitional government and blocked the way to all the initiatives for a political solution in Syria,” Kurpershoek told ARA News.
He expressed his belief that the uprising in Ukraine will not influence Russia to change its position regarding the conflict in Syria “because the situation in Ukraine is different”, as Syria has undergone war for almost three years by now.
In reference to the ethnic and sectarian conflicts in Syria, Kurpershoek stated to ARA News: “The Syrian people will overcome all of that because they (Syrians) reject extremism and tyranny, and long for freedom and democracy for their country.”
With respect to his views regarding the civil society experience which emerged in the Syria over years of war, Kurpershoek stated: “Syrian people suffered from the non-existence of a political life in Syria and the international community has to help them build a social fabric and reinforce democratic values in order to enable Syrians to return to a democratic system of government as in the 1950s before the reign of the Baath party which abolished political liberties in the country.”
Kurpershoek expressed his optimism that the Syrian society is moving towards a civil society on the long-term and that tolerance between all the ethnic and religious groups will prevail in the Syrian society.
In reference to the al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Kurpershoek pointed out that extremism and radicalism lead to the destruction of a society, adding that the ISIL is a “disease” which prevents the progress of the society and has to be punished for its crimes, “which requires the formation of a unified front formed by all components of the Syrian society to fight this radical group”.
Kurpershoek assured that the Dutch government supports the Syrian people in the economic, social and political fields, saying: “We (Dutch government) provide Syrians with training workshops in the field of Civil Society, in addition to supporting projects of the Syrian institutions, relief projects for refugees, teaching refugee children, renovating drinking water systems inside Syria and supporting women’s activities by organizing conferences and workshops for Syrian women so that they can be involved in politics and perform service works.”
Kurpershoek stated in his interview with ARA News that the Dutch government supports the Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Opposition (SNC), adding that the Dutch government has provided SNC’s members with workshops in negotiations skills.
“The Dutch government supports a political solution in Syria and not a military one,” the Dutch ambassador concluded.
Interviewed by: Ridwan Bizar
Source: ARA News
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