Syrian opposition groups have rejected a United Nations-backed plan for a political transition in Syria, calling it “ambiguous” and “a farce” while ruling out any possibility of sharing power with President Bashar al-Assad.
The Syrian National Council has rejected a plan by world powers to create a transitional government in the country.
Syrian opposition reaction comes after the Action Group on Syria meeting in Geneva left open the option for members of the current regime to play a future role.
Several overseas-based opposition figures angrily ruled out the idea of President Bashar al-Assad taking part in a new administration.
A Paris-based Syrian National Council spokeswoman, Bassma Kodmani, said Sunday that Syrians “will not accept engaging in any political track while the killing continues.”
Khalid Saleh, a member of Syrian National Council in Istanbul, was critical of this decision.
“I think it needs to be very clear to the international community that the people that went out to break the slavery that the Assad regime had really put them through under for the last 40 years will not go back to their houses if the international community is looking to improve the conditions of slavery. We refuse, we refuse for Assad and those who bathed their hands in Syrian blood to stay in power.” Saleh said.
“We are yet to see real actions.” Saleh added saying all the opposition groups have seen so far were “just words”.
In turn, Burhan Ghalioun, a senior SNC member and the group’s former head, told pan-Arab Al-Arabiya television that “this is the worst international statement yet to emerge from talks on Syria.”
According to the SNC’s official Facebook page, Ghalioun described as a “mockery” the notion that Syrians should negotiate with “their executioner, who has not stopped killing, torturing… and raping women for 16 months.”
Inside country and in the capital Damascus where support for President Bashar al-Assad is strongest, some Syrians questioned why the country’s future was being decided thousands of kilometers away.
“I think this summit was set up to suit the US and its allies, France and Britain,” said one man. “But with Russian and Chinese backing and with the popular support for Bashar al-Assad, perhaps we can get what’s right for the Syrian people.”
Another resident was delighted that Russia won a concession at the Geneva meeting that removed plans to prevent the current leadership from being part of a future government.
“I think the meeting was relatively successful.
Without Russia we would not have had such concessions. I hope the opposition will take the right step. The most important thing now is dialogue,” he said.
An international conference in Geneva on Saturday accepted a watered down version of U.N. envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for the creation of a transitional government in Syria. But at Russia’s insistence the compromise agreement left the door open to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad being part of the interim administration.
Saturday’s summit called for a transitional government based on “mutual consent”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was “delighted” that the deal would not impose a specific process on Syria.
But following the meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still insisted that Assad would have to step down.
Source: DP News