SOHR exclusive | Anti-regime Syrian conferees: “Syrian regime hindered negotiations on six occasions, and we oppose normalisation of relations with it” • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Anti-regime Syrian conferees: “Syrian regime hindered negotiations on six occasions, and we oppose normalisation of relations with it”

As a part of attempts to reach a political settlement based on international resolutions, particularly Resolution No. 2254, several conferences have been held in and outside Syria, including conferences in Geneva, Cairo, Astana and Sochi, in which the Syrian opposition participated and intensified its efforts to defend the Syrian people’s right to decide their destiny. These conferences came up with resolutions proposed by the United Nations and understandings. However, these resolutions have not been fulfiled so far.


In more than ten years of Syria’s conflict, several initiatives have been offered to reach a settlement, while intervention of international powers, Russia, USA, Iran and Turkey in particular, have hindered the negotiations and worsened the situation further. While Washington has been accused of “impeding the political settlement in Syria with the aim to maintain the Syrian regime in power and continue using it as a bargaining chip.”


On Monday, Syrian regime opponents held a conference in Istanbul attended by several bodies that stressed their rejection of renormalising the relations with Al-Assad’s regime. The participants also emphasised that the overthrow of Al-Assad will paves the way to enforce the UN resolutions.


In an exclusive SOHR interview with an organizer of that conference, Ali Kiyali says, “this conference is different from previous ones, as it relies on the popular base which has been kept away from the political process by the so-called ‘opposition organisations.’ The conference also focused on sending a clear message, ‘we oppose normalisation of relations with the Syrian regime, and we support all attempts inspiring hope for a better future of Syrian people.’ It was a perfect national-Syrian conference and financed by Syrian bodies, away from any foreign agendas.”


Commenting on the latest meeting attended by the Syrian opposition in Doha, Kiyali has said, “there were positive reactions during the meeting, the most prominent of which were the statements by US officials, exactly by Joel Rayburn who stated that the normalisation of relations with the Syrian regime would not bring back the situation in Syria as it was before the Revolution, and that Bashar Al-Assad would be excluded from the expected political transition.”


Kiyali has stressed that the project of Egyptian-Jordanian-Syrian gas pipeline would be doomed to fail.


Mr. Ali has also commented on the division among the Syrian opposition, saying “the institutions of the Syrian opposition are in need to be rehabilitated and provided with patriotic figures known for their good reputation and broad popular base in order to represent the marginalised Syrian people, highlight their plight and work on stopping blatant violations committed in Syria. I oppose any military solution in Syria and believe that practicing economic, political and popular pressure on the ‘rickety’ regime is the most effective step to spur Russia to abandon Al-Assad and his regime and concentrate its efforts to reach a political settlement based on the Resolution 2254.”


Several experts and activists tracking the Syrian crisis see that the frequent meetings and conferences have failed so far to come up with an appropriate political solution. However, some attempts and initiatives have worsened the situation in Syria further, especially after the intervention of foreign powers which divided Syria and created considerable gaps among the different segments of Syrian society. Other experts see that attempts seeking to pressure and weaken the Syrian opposition are behind the openness to the regime, as the opposition has participated in different negotiations and talks. However, they failed to enforce the UN resolutions because of obstinacy by the opposition and the regime’s delegations to draft a constitution meets the aspiration of Syrian people who dream of enjoying a free and democratic country and seek for a peaceful transition through genuine elections.


On the other hand, the member of the constitutional committee, Hasan Al-Hariri has told SOHR that Damascus promised Geir Pedersen, during his latest visit in Syria, to hold a seventh round of negotiations next month, calling upon different delegations to get ready for this round, especially after hindering the work of the constitutional committee for long time.


Al-Hariri accused the Syrian regime of “hindering negotiations,” as the regime’s delegations had rejected all resolutions issued by international actors. Mr. Hasan also said, “the regime has been impeding the mechanism which all bodies had agreed on, in light of the diligent efforts by the Syrian opposition to make progress during these negotiations and take a step towards a political settlement.”


The member of the constitutional committee, Ahmed Al-Asrawi also told SOHR, “as long as the Syrian regime is clinging to impede negotiations, like in the past six rounds, there will not by any developments on the ground. I hope that the international actors’ promises will be fulfiled and lead to the success of the negotiations.”