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Monday, November 11, 2013

Syrian oppositional forces agreed to participate in Geneva peace talks

Syrian oppositional forces backed by some Western countries has made an official statement early on Monday, 11 November, that it agrees to participate in the USA and Russia initiated peace talks to be held in Geneva.

Syrian National Coalition, the group uniting the divided oppositional forces in Syria, stated that there are several conditions and guarantees for the participations in the peace negotiations, and those conditions should be met before the beginning of the talks.

Syrian opposition calls for an end of the two and half year’s civil war in Syrian and creating of the transitional governing body in order to transfer the powers in the country to the democratically elected bodies. One of the key demands of the participation in the talks is also stepping down of Bashar Al-Assad, Syrian long-standing President. Syrian opposition refuses to negotiate and to discuss any changes and reforms to be implemented in the country until Bashar Al-Assad will leave his presidential position.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and UN special envoy to Syria
Lakhdar Brahimi
(Image: NDTV)
In addition to that the Coalition of the oppositional forces stated that the previous commitments discussed during the first round of the Geneva talks and the results of the October conference held in London should become the basis for the further negotiations during Geneva 2 peace conference.

Among the conditions to be met before the beginning of the talks is the allowing of the international relief agencies and organizations to get access to the besieged territories in Syria in order to examine the situation and give its estimation and also the release of the political prisoners. The negotiations should result in the creation of the transitional government in Syria and the opposition doesn’t consider it being possible with the presence of Bashar Al-Assad in Syrian politics.

It’s worth mentioning that Geneva 2 peace talks initiated by Russia and USA have been planned for the beginning of November, but the date isn’t currently set as the oppositional forces couldn’t find consensus and common decision regarding the participation in the talks. In addition to that there have been also significant differences in stances of Russia and USA as well.

Lakhdar Brahimi and US Secretary of State Jahn Kerry
(Image: Global Post)
Syrian current government headed by the President Bashar Al-Assad declared their willingness to participate in the peace talks in order to find the common solution to the deepening political crisis and to find the ways to stop the violent civil war in the country. In addition to that Syrian government declared its commitment to cooperate with UN and world’s powers in attempt to eliminate chemical weapons arsenal presented in Syria.

Syrian opposition in its turn couldn’t issue a common stance whether to participate in the Geneva peace talks or not.

Syrian rebel militant brigades though have issued several statement strongly condemning the willingness of the Coalition to participate in the negotiation and accused the Coalition of treason.

US Secretary of State John Kerry in his turn has praised the decision of the Syrian National Coalition to participate in the peace talks to be held in Geneva and called it a big step on the way towards resolving the crisis in Syrian politics and stopping the long civil war.