SNC Welcomed the Visit by Senators McCain and Lieberman
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
The Syrian National Council (SNC) welcomed Senators John McCain (R – Arizona), Joe Lieberman (I – Connecticut) and their courageous visit to meet with Syrians in a Turkish refugee camp near the Syrian-Turkish border in the province of Hatay. The SNC encourages and invites Arab Presidents, Ministers and members of Parliaments to visit and witness the conditions on the ground. This event confirms the need for all people and nations to increase efforts in isolating the Assad regime and bringing those responsible for crimes to justice.
During their visit the two US Senators met with the President of SNC Dr. Burhan Ghalioun, the leadership of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and with young Syrian opposition members. The Senators also met with defected Syrian deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameldin, Turkey's recalled Ambassador to Syria Omer Onhon and Turkish President Abdullah Gul. During the visit the Senators met with a group of refugees and were welcomed with a performance by Syrian girls group. They expressed solidarity with the Syrian cause and offered appreciated gestures to cheer up refugees such as holding young children and signing the arm cast of an injured Syrian boy.
US Senators McCain and Lieberman advocated on behalf of the Syrian people during their visits with Dr. Burhan Ghalioun and the FSA leadership saying that the "international community was failing the Syrian people." Their visit with the SNC leadership and others in Turkey is indicative of the United States' leaning towards supporting movements aimed at establishing free and civil democracies. Senator Lieberman stated "The only way to reverse this dynamic is by helping the Syrian opposition to change the military balance of power on the ground. This means delivering all of the non-lethal assistance that has been pledged thus far. But it means doing a lot more."
Outside of Turkey, the two Senators have been outspoken supporters of increased action to bolster the Syrian opposition including logistical and material aid to the FSA as well as humanitarian and political support to the Syrian people. Senator Lieberman added towards the end of his speech on April 10, 2012 regarding his visit to Turkey, "The choice we have is very clear: Will the world continue to stand by while Assad kills thousands and thousands more people -- or will we summon the resolve and the courage to do what it takes to stop the killing and force Assad to leave power? The Syrian people are fully committed to their fight for liberation, just as Assad and his foreign backers are fully committed to destroying them. Unless the international community is equally committed to supporting the Syrian people and thwarting Assad, including with military means, the killing will go on, and there will be no hope of a diplomatic end to the conflict."