23.05.2013 - Oslo

Norway Signs Letter of Intent with the Syrian Opposition

Norway signed a memorandum of understanding with the Syrian opposition for further cooperation between Norway and the Syrian national coalition.
Norway Signs Letter of Intent with the Syrian Opposition
Photo : Photo: Ragnhild Imerslund | State Secretary Torgeir Larsen and Vice President of the Syrian National Coalition Suhair Atassi, signed memorandum on cooperation between Norway and the Syrian opposition.

- A strong and united opposition is an important prerequisite to arrive at a political solution to the brutal Syrian civil war, says State Secretary Torgeir Larsen.

In the new memorandum with Norway, the Syrian National Coalition commits to respect basic humanitarian principles and to facilitate access for humanitarian assistance in the areas controlled by the opposition forces in Syria. 

- A stronger and more effective opposition that undertake humanitarian gives hope for better access to the 6, 8 million people who are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, said State Secretary Torgeir Larsen.

Larsen met with leaders of the National Coalition of Istanbul in Turkey on 22 May, after visiting Syrian refugees in a refugee camp near Gaziantep in the border region with Syria, representatives of Syrian local councils and representatives of Norwegian and foreign aid organization working inside Syria. - The suffering in Syria enormous, and there is no military solution to the conflict. A political solution is the only way out of the carnage, and increased Norwegian support to the Syrian opposition is a contribution to the ongoing international efforts to facilitate negotiations, says Torgeir Larsen. 

Norway will spend NOK 60 million NOK to strengthen local civil administration in Syria and support for the National Coalition. The Norwegian funds aim to ensure women’s rights to be safeguarded in building a new democratic Syria.   

- Through this agreement, we want to contribute to the political and military leaders of the Syrian opposition with responsibility to build a democratic Syria where human rights are protected for all Syrians regardless of gender or religious affiliation, said State Secretary Torgeir Larsen. 

Norway has so far given 310 million NOK in humanitarian aid to Syria this year. UN estimates that nearly 80,000 people have lost their lives because of the civil war, and 1.5 million people have fled from the country.

TAGS: Syria, War
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