Meeting in support of the civilian revolutionary councils in Syria (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - October 12, 2012)

Q : What are the civilian revolutionary councils?

A : These are the structures that manage the liberated areas in Syria. A meeting will take place here at the ministry on October 17 at 8:30 am. It will be opened by the minister and will continue all morning, ending with a lunch. This meeting will bring together 25 delegations, i.e. the delegations of the main countries involved in trying to resolve the Syrian crisis, delegations from the key NGOs operating in Syria, members of these civilian revolutionary councils who will come from Syria, as well as members of the network of Syrian doctors.

This is a bilateral French initiative together with the members of the revolutionary councils and the NGOs on the ground within the framework of the bilateral assistance of €10 million that was given to these people. Do you think that there will be an announcement regarding the increase in assistance? Can you tell us if your initiative, which was highly appreciated in New York and elsewhere, is expanding? Are others joining this type of local initiative in Syria?

The purpose of this meeting is two-fold. On the one hand, to review what we’ve achieved so far, in the presence of the main parties concerned, some of whom have come from Syria, and the NGOs that are supporting our humanitarian efforts in the liberated areas. And on the other hand, this is an opportunity to mobilize our partners. That’s why, in addition to the representatives of the civilian revolutionary councils, in addition to the NGOs, in addition to the network of Syrian doctors, there will be representatives from certain partner states, the EU, and the region, as well as others. I can’t give you the exact list because it hasn’t been fully defined yet. I will be able to do so at the beginning of next week.

Will it be open to the press?

Certainly the start, yes. It will be opened by the minister. Then, we’re looking at how we can work with you because there are people who are taking part in this meeting who don’t especially want to be exposed to the press for obvious security reasons. We’re looking at how to give you the greatest possible access without jeopardizing the security of these people.

Is there a key topic that you would like to discuss with these people? What is it?

The situation in Syria and their needs and what we can do to help them, in follow-up to the meeting that we had at the end of the ministerial week at the UN.

Are there any soldiers among them or are they just civilians?

They are representatives of the “civilian revolutionary councils.”