Ahmad Jarba, Assad, Bashar al-Assad, Geneva, Humanitarian aid, John Kohn Kerry, National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Sunday Telegraph, Syria, Syrian opposition, the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad
The opposition will be represented at the upcoming Geneva 2 conference on a precondition that the West provides aid and ensures humanitarian corridors for their strongholds, said the president of the Western-backed Syrian opposition group.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Ahmad Jarba, the leader of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, agreed to attend the long-awaited talks that would include a delegation of Bashar Assad, something that the opposition refused to do in the past.
Less than a week ago, Jarba said he would not attend Geneva 2 talks unless there was a clear agenda to force Assad to leave the office.
“We have decided not to enter Geneva talks unless it is with dignity, and unless there is a successful transfer of power with a specific timeframe, and without the occupier Iran at the negotiating table,” Jarba told an Arab League meeting in Cairo.
But now when asked about his attendance by the British newspaper, Jarba replied: “Yes, but do you think we can sit with the regime whilst there are people in Syria who can’t even drink water? We have been promised by the West that these humanitarian issues will be solved before the conference.”
He said that Britain promised to provide “safe passage” of humanitarian aid at a London meeting of Friends of Syria held last month.
“In a closed meeting in London, John Kerry, Mr Hague and the other Friends of Syria ministers promised us that they would solve this issue before Geneva. They have not solved it yet,” he said. “We cannot go to Geneva when there are children without water, baby formula, bread and medicine.”
“We feel strange that countries sponsoring Geneva are unable to provide humanitarian access to besieged areas, yet at the same time say they will be able to provide a political solution,” Jarba added.
Humanitarian aid for opposition forces is absolutely necessary for Jarba to win support from numerous loosely associated brigades fighting on the ground in Syria, he told the Telegraph.
“Regarding those groups, if they saw that this brings real pressure by international community on the regime I don’t think they will reject Geneva,” he told the Telegraph.
“We are talking to many of them and when we explain the situation to them and they understand it in a better way, they don’t reject the political solution. But the superpowers have to help us also to convince those people by taking these steps.”
On Sunday the National Coalition will continue discussions in Istanbul about their participation in Geneva 2. During the previous meeting the coalition stressed that prior to announcing their decision they want the international community to apply more pressure on Damascus.
“We have always said that we are fully committed to Geneva. But we are worried that if we go there the Assad regime is not serious about the implementation of Geneva,” coalition spokesman Khaled Saleh said on Saturday. “Everyone knows that the Assad regime is going to try to buy more time.”
Asked when the group will make a decision whether or not to attend the negotiations, Saleh claimed that the coalition “hadn’t received any invitation from the UN.” But the spokesman noted that there was no future for Assad in Syria once transition will take place, claiming that Assad should stand a fair trial.
“It has become obvious to anyone that there is no role for Assad if Geneva 2 is really to be applied, whether in the transitional period or after that.”
“We want to go to Geneva but everyone has to be serious, not only the Assad regime but its allies. We want the Russians to apply real pressure on the Assad regime,” Saleh said in Istanbul, noting that Moscow was instrumental in negotiating the chemical weapons deal with Assad.
Clear Declaration of Participation Required
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov expressed hope that the West will convince the opposition to take part in the conference. “Our partners have promised that they will work to ensure that the opposition clearly declares their participation in this conference,” the diplomat was quoted by Interfax as saying. “Let’s wait for this, as without the consent of the opposition to take part, it is difficult, of course, to rely on success of the conference.”
At the same time Moscow believes that the opposition is not ready to participate in the Geneva-2 talks as some groups fighting on the ground continue to oppose any peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov said that the National Coalition cannot represent all group at the negotiations.
“The National Coalition claims to be the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But it does not represent even the majority of opposition structures that oppose the regime the Assad regime,” Lavrov said Friday.
According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov, “there is doubt about the fact that all [opposition groups] genuinely want a political settlement,” adding that some fighters want to use force as means to resolve the conflict. “Unfortunately, there are external forces that fuel such sentiments, not only morally-politically but financially as well,” Interfax quotes.
Geneva 2 talks brokered by the US and Russia tentatively set to start November 23 have not yet officially been scheduled, although diplomats hope to kick start the round before the end of this year.
So far around 20 rebel groups have refused to take part in the negotiations, including the Syrian National Council. Some groups have even threated those delegations that are planning to attend.
“We announce that the Geneva 2 conference is not, nor will it ever be, our people’s choice or our revolution’s demand,” said Ahmad Eissa al-Sheikh, chief of the Suqur al-Sham Brigade, AFP reports.
“We consider it just another part of the conspiracy to throw our revolution off track and to abort it,” he said, adding that actions of those choosing to disobey this recommendation would be viewed as“treason” and result in the groups having “to answer for it before our courts.”
“It is outrageous that some of these extremist, terrorist organizations fighting government forces in Syria are starting to make threats,” Sergey Lavrov said late October. “The threats are directed at those who have the courage to attend the “The threats are directed at those who have the courage to attend the proposed Geneva conference being offered by Russia and the United States with the entire world’s support.”
Reported By RT
REMEMBERING EXACTLY WHO AND WHAT THE SNC REPRESENTS, AND THAT IT IS NOT THE WILL OF THE “SYRIAN PEOPLE,” AND KNOWING WHAT THE SNCS DEFINITION OF “HUMANITARIAN AID” CONSISTS OF, THEN ITS EASY TO SEE WHY THEY MAKE THE DEMANDS THEY DO.
Although their cries for the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad to step down keep playing like a broken record, their demands just keep getting more ridiculous with every pathetic statement they make.
In a related article By Alakhbar…
The Syrian National Coalition also demanded the release of women and children from Syrian jails and an easing of military sieges of rebel-held areas as a condition for going to Geneva.
No date has yet been agreed for the peace talks, which have been repeatedly delayed by discord between Washington and Moscow and by the coalition’s failure to define its stance until now.
“The coalition agreed to take part in the conference on the basis of a transfer of power to a transitional ruling authority with full powers, including the presidency, military and security,” it said in a statement after late-night talks.
There could be no role for Assad “or his aides whose hands are stained with Syrian blood” in Syria’s future, it said.
The United States welcomed the coalition’s decision to attend the talks and endorsed its conditions relating to prisoner releases and humanitarian access.
“We will continue to work closely with our international partners, including Russia, to urge the regime to take these steps and move towards convening the Geneva conference,” a State Department spokesman said, without commenting on the coalition’s rejection of any role for Assad in any interim government.
Without making the SNCs demands look totally stupid, I cant help but do my best to do just that. First off, the president is NOT going to step down, got it SNC? You can demand it all you want, but it “aint gonna happen!” No one, not one Syrian on the street of Syria, or any member of the government is going to hand the future of Syria and her people over to a terrorists organization led by foreigners with their own agendas for Syria. The sooner you understand these facts, and work on “realistic negotiations” before your entire pathetic army of mercenaries is completely wiped off the map of Syria the better off you will be.
The “PEOPLE OF SYRIA SUPPORT THE SYRIAN ARAB ARMY, NOT THE SNCS’ MERCENARIES”…
Second off, the Syrian Arab Army is NOT going to stop the “easing of military sieges of rebel-held areas as a condition for going to Geneva.” If this also is a precondition, forget about it. Syrians are a bit tired of seeing family members kidnapped, raped, shot, beheaded, or eaten by your terrorists. Not only will the SAA NOT ease military seiges, but they will continue, with great force, eliminate your terrorists altogether. The future of Syria is not going to be in the hands of ANY foreign entities… NONE!
All the SNC is is a group of powersuits who will probably never sit down for Geneva talks. They are just attending lunches on government money trying to throw ideas out there that they know have no meaning… until the next luncheon. They can control their terrorists about as much as one can control a group of frenzied sharks. They cant even control which of their thugs will eat human organs!
Saying Bashar al-Assad has blood on his hands is true if you are measuring the blood of terrorists. If civilians are killed by the SAA troops as a result of this war, you can blame the terrorists directly as they are infamous for hiding among civilians and using them as human shields. YOUR terrorists are directly responsible for the blood spilled in Syria! Are you kidding with ridiculous statements about the “blood spilled in Syria?”
In case you have forgotten exactly what the SNC and their mercenaries mean to Syrians, I’m here to remind you…
They have openly joined will known FOREIGN terrorist organizations…
Gun Syrian civilians down just because they can…
Kidnap civilians, beat, torture or kill them because they do not support you…
Execute civilians in public display because they dont support you…
Kill civilians with car bombings…
Execute the protectors of Syrians…
Starve the children in terrorist controlled camps and gas kidnapped children to use for your propaganda…
Kill Christians, and destroy Christianity as fast as possible…
Whine that you are not allowed to send “Humanitarian Aid” into Syria, when this is the “aid of Choice” for you. “No thanks, Syrians dont want YOUR idea of “aid!”
You seem to forget that all have been watching this war for a couple years now. You are NOT the legitimate representation to the Syrian people, nor will you ever be. You will never be anything more than you are now, foreigners and traitors sitting in another country spouting your mouths off on what you want Syria to be. Let alone the Syrian government, the Syrian people will never except you, and the Syrian Arab Army will never except you (let alone be led by you). Your demands are about as legitimate as you are, and in case you have had your head in the sand, you are NOT in a position to negotiate anyway. You have LOST this proxy war you have waged against this great beautiful country of Syria with all your paid dead terrorists AND YOU HAVE NO SUPPORT FROM ANYWHERE!
VICTORY BELONGS TO THE GREAT PEOPLE OF SYRIA, NOT FOREIGNERS!