The recent meeting between the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the Turkish delegation has sparked widespread debate on the real purpose of this meeting, especially after the Coalition’s internal disagreements that recently attracted scathing criticism.
The meeting has stressed the importance of keeping the participation of the Coalition in the negotiations of the Constitutional Commission, despite all the disagreements in the Coalition, which led to impeding and breaking down the negotiations, assuring that positive attitudes should be maintained no matter what.
The meeting has tackled the issue of the inclusion of Turkish-backed officials of public local councils operating in “Olive Branch”, “Euphrates Shield” and “Peace Spring” areas in the Coalition. This issue has ignited anger among Syrian political circles as they believe that this issue is a continuation of intervention in the internal affairs of Syria and another step further deepening the crisis.
Coalition members have also called on Turkish actors to support this new structure of Coalition and extend its the presidential terms. The two sides agreed on excluding nearly 14 members from the Coalition for “non-compliance with its political vision.”
Speaking to SOHR, the prominent opposition leader of the National Coordination Body (NCB), Hassan Abdel Azim said, “the recent meeting held between a delegation of Turkish Foreign Ministry and a delegation of Syrian National Coalition headed by Salem Al-Musalat at the Coalition headquarters in Istanbul has broken the mould by excluding Muslim Brotherhood members from the Coalition for their obvious practices of obstructing and blocking efforts of cooperating with other alliances or national forces in order to have full control of the Coalition and decision-making process.”
“Further details will be revealed in the upcoming few days,” Abdul Azim added.
“The failure of a new round of Constitutional Committee talks has come as a bitter disappointment to all segments of Syrian society, and the Constitutional Committee could find no solution to Syrian conflict, draft a new constitution or even move a step forward with proposing amendments to the current constitution,” Lieutenant Colonel Nidal Obayd said in a briefing to SOHR.
Nidal Obayd noted that, “the meeting between Turkish and National Coalition officials in Istanbul highlights the desire of Turkey to keep the functional role of both the members of the Constitutional Committee and National Negotiation Body.”
Nidal Obayd also expressed his viewpoint regarding the demand of Turkish delegation to recruit new committee members from local councils’ figures operating in the areas of “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield,” considering this act as an attempt. He explained “it is an attempt to polish up the miserable image of the opposition bodies by replacing some affiliates of the Coalition with new proxies.”
The members of the opposition, according to Nidal Obaid, have become more akin to employees working for some foreign parties of the countries concerned with Syrian crisis, and they have not contributed to finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.
He concluded by saying, “neither drafting a new constitution nor proposing an amendment to some articles of the constitution were the fundamental demands for the Syrian Revolution, as all the Syrian people rose up to call for achieving their legitimate demands of freedom and social justice.”
Some political analysts believe that the decision of excluding some parties and their representatives could be a new step to reform, restructure and unite the disjointed opposition, as the disintegration of the opposition has hindered reaching a peaceful political solution for 11 years. While the dismissed party strongly criticised these decisions, denouncing the accusations they described as malicious, false and unjust, and they demanded a review of the decision as this decision inconsistent with the committee’s charter.
The question now remains as to whether decisions supported by Turkey aim to have a hold on the opposition coalition or are part of reform or sabotage?