USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza visits Foreign Relations Commission of North and East Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Nadine Maenza, Chair of the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), visited the headquarters of the Foreign Relations Commission of North and East Syria for the fourth time with the aim of reviewing the latest developments and conditions of religious and ethnic minorities in the region.

Abeer Elia, Co-Chair of the Foreign Relations Commission, commented to Suroyo TV  about Maenza’s visit, explaining that a discussion took place about the security situation and ways to achieve stability in the region, especially in light of the attacks and bombardment launched by Turkey and its Syrian National Army (SNA) proxies. Elia also stated that these attacks have resulted in the displacement of the population and the change in the demographics of the region.

Elia added that the effects of the closure of the border crossings on the economic and health situation in  the region was also discussed. The dangers posed to minorities by the closures and the threat to their presence in their homeland was highlighted.

According to Elia, Maenza stressed the need for recognition of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) that governs the region by the international community, especially the United States. 

After the meeting, Maenza held a press conference during which she stated that she is urging the international community to support the democratic project in North and East Syria as it is a model for peaceful coexistence and freedom of belief that could be replicated across Syria and the wider region. 

She also denounced the continued Turkish violations in the regions, the most recent of which occurred in the northern city of Kobanê and resulted in the death of civilians.