المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“Al-Ghad Movement” announces dismissal of Qassem Al-Khatib for “affronting Bahrain”, and “Al-Khatib” denies being member in the movement

Al-Khatib to SOHR | "Al-Jarba exerted pressure on me to accept Turkey's stance regarding the working mechanism of the 'negotiating body'"

As the opposition movement of “Al-Ghad Al-Soury” (Syria’s Tomorrow), headed by Ahmed Al-Jarba, announced the dismissal of Qassem Al-Khatib, a member of the movement’s secretariat, for “publishing a cartoon on his Facebook account, affronting the Kingdom of Bahrain”, Al-Khatib denied having any connections with the movement, posting on his personal Facebook account “I have no connections or ties to the opposition movement of ‘Al-Ghad Al-Soury’, headed by Ahmed Al-Jarba.”

 

“I was the first to join and participate in the ‘Cairo Conference’ held on January 22, 2015, and ‘Cairo Conference’ on June 8 and 9, 2015, before announcing the formation of the opposition movement of ‘Al-Ghad Al-Soury’ in March 2016,” Al-Khatib added.

 

Al-Khatib told SOHR, “my personal opposition to the normalization of relations, and the disagreement with Ahmed Al-Jarba are not the issue of normalization, but rather, the working mechanism in the ‘supreme negotiating body’ and the ‘Constitutional Committee’ and about the ties to the ‘National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces’.”

 

Al-Khatib also confirmed that “the issue of ‘normalization’ never came up or discussed , and I have never been asked about my stance regarding ‘normalization’.”

 

“The main reason behind the disagreement between me and Ahmed Al-Jarba is related the working mechanism in the negotiating body, as Al-Jarba exerted extreme pressure on me to acquiesce to Turkey’s vision regarding the vote on the distribution and allocation of the negotiating body’s seats held by independents, which puts the negotiating body under Turkey’s control. Accordingly, “the dispute between me and ‘Al-Ghad Movement’ is over the issue of the newly appointed independents of the ‘negotiating body’.”

 

“Ahmed Al-Jarba changed his loyalty once again and adopted the initiative of the ‘National Coalition’ and Nasr Al-Hariri, which is the 4+4 formula. However, I am still sticking to my rejection of this initiative, in accordance to what we -the revolutionary and opposition forces- agreed upon during the ‘Cairo conference’. Accordingly, everything said by Al-Jarba and his accusations against me about affronting Bahrain are false,” Al-Khatib added.

 

It is worth noting that “Al-Ghad Al-Soury” opposition movement had issued a statement announcing the dismissal of Al-Khatib and justified the reasons behind this action by saying: “the member in question posted a cartoon in mid-September, affronting the government and people of Bahrain.” Al-Khatib commented on this announcement, saying, “in his cartoon, the cartoonist Khaled Al-Hashimi presented the vision of the people of Bahrain, not the opinion of the rulers,”, then he said “No and a thousand no to the normalization of relations.”

 

The statement issued by “Al-Ghad Al-Soury” movement also mentioned “the movement’s leadership had referred Al-Khatib to an investigative commission which later recommended the dismissal of Al-Khatib from the movement, since the movement adopts a moderate Arab vision, respecting the sovereign decision of the Kingdom of Bahrain and refusing any verbal abuse against it.”

 

The movement accused Al-Khatib of “lying”, describing him as a “sacked member”, saying “he responded to his dismissal from ‘Al-Ghad Al-Soury’ movement by publishing a post on his Facebook account, misinforming his followers, where he claimed that he resigned from the movement, and that he was not dismissed.”

 

It is also worth noting that Qassem Al-Khatib signed this post in his capacity as a member of the “supreme negotiating body” in “Cairo Conference for the Syrian opposition forces” and a member of the “select constitutional commission.”

 

Picture shows Qassem Al-Khatib with Ahmed Al-Jarba, the former chairman of the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces” and head of the opposition movement of “Al-Ghad Al-Soury”, attending a meeting at the headquarters of the “Arab League” in Cairo in 2013. (Reuters)

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