Thursday, February 7, 2013

Syrian opposition "split & confused"

"...The sources concluded that “Russia is optimistic about the recent progress, but cautiously so.”  The sources did not rule out the possibility that the Khatib initiative would lead to divisions within the opposition, especially if the latter coupled its demands with concessions. The Syrian government is betting on that, and considers it inevitable, particularly since Turkey — which stands behind the flow of Islamist militants into northern and eastern Syria, especially Kurdish areas —  is opposing the initiative and the principle of dialogue, as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said. Sources from the Syrian government argued that Khatib had previously demanded the arming of the opposition, and defended the actions of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria. If true, this would place the opposition in a place where they would have to be held accountable, supporting the regime’s point of view.As-Safir has learned that some countries are neutral regarding the Syrian crisis, although their announced positions may be different. These include the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan and Oman, who are willing to facilitate negotiations between the parties, in order to accelerate steps to end the ongoing conflict.
In a statement after the meeting in Beijing between Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Meqdad and his Chinese counterpart Zhang  Zhijun, Beijing reiterated “its commitment to find peaceful solutions to the crisis in Syria, based on the UN Charter, the principles of international law and the statement of Geneva, as well as not to allow foreign interference in Syrian internal affairs”.
The Syrian National Council, a prominent component of SNCROF violently attacked Khatib, and refused “to engage in any dialogue or negotiation” with the Syrian regime.
In a statement on Facebook, the council said: “the so called initiative for dialogue with the regime, is an individual decision that was not taken nor discussed within the National Coalition, and does not reflect the positions and commitments of the founding forces......."and added that Khatib’s initiatives had “caused a divide in the political positions of the opposition forces, and confusion in popular and revolutionary circles.” The council warned against continuing “to take unilateral steps, which may increase divisions within it and serve the regime and its allies, who are trying all means to weaken the opposition and deal a blow to the revolution.”
In a statement, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby welcomed Khatib’s initiative,..."

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