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Al-Jaafari: Coalition delegation called “opposition” came to Geneva with presuppositions based on incorrect data

(SANA/Sabbagh) – Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that the coalition delegation of the so-called “opposition” came to Geneva with presuppositions based on incorrect data and on personal grudges against the state, not based on a political opposition program.

In an interview given to the Syrian TV on Saturday, al-Jaafari said that during the 8 days of talks in Geneva, the coalition did not present any political vision or program, nor did it show any sense of responsibility, as from the first moment they wanted to discuss the transitional governing body, acting in subordination to those who think for them, which caused them to suffer intellectually poverty, and thus created a massive rift in performance between them and the Syrian official delegation.

He pointed out that the Syrian official delegation began by testing the other side’s readiness to be actually patriotic by addressing and specifying the priorities of patriotism such as Syria’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, rejecting foreign interference, and rejecting terrorism and violence.

“These points, which were supposed to represent common denominators before going in-depth, were rejected by the coalition delegation of the so-called opposition, showing the large rift between the two positions,” he said, adding that this is why the Syrian official delegation suggested discussing the most pressing issues which Syrians shouldn’t disagree upon, including humanitarian issues, counterterrorism, detainees, and abductees.

Al-Jaafari said that the coalition delegation rejected all papers presented by the Syrian Arab Republic delegation before even reading them, let alone discussing them, noting that this was a test of the honesty of their intentions and their readiness to engage in dialogue.

“The Syrian official delegation discovered during the talks that it was facing an opposition of political debauchery which acted as was asked of it, not a national opposition with a political program serving the Syrian people,” he explained.

Al-Jaafari said that the Geneva communiqué is an eight-step track, the first one of which is halting violence which means stopping terrorism, and therefore one cannot jump over principles, adding that since the communiqué was passed in June 30th 2012, there had been a dispute between Russia and America and at the Security Council over its interpretation, noting that this communiqué was formulated in Syria’s absence and in a mysterious manner.

He pointed out that the coalition delegation of the so-called “opposition” was trying to earn media points, not negotiation points, meaning that the delegation was trying to exploit the humanitarian aspect of the crisis in the media in order to go out to the public opinion and claim that it earned a specific point over the Syrian official delegation.

“The other side did not make its own decisions in the negotiations room; it was receiving instructions from outside via paper clippings which came every five minutes carried by someone in a comical display,” al-Jaafari said.

He went on to note that what will happen now consists of evaluating the proceedings of the first round of talks, come out with results, and foresee the prospects of the second round if the leadership decides to pursue it.

Al-Jaafari stressed that after almost three years of the crisis, Syria managed to reclaim its credibility on the international arena and earn the confidence of many countries which had been swimming in the grey areas, all in spite of the campaign for misleading the world public opinion carried out by specific countries and sides.

He explained that UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi proposed February 10th as the date of starting the second round of talks, and it was agreed to communicate via diplomatic channels to confirm or alter this date, noting that the other side agreed to this date immediately while the Syrian official delegation said it will confirm it after evaluating the first round in Damascus.

“Much of what we heard said by official spokespersons or journalists of the coalition was said by the Syrian official delegation inside the room, as they stole our words and used them outside because they were unable to form terms that reflect their position,” al-Jaafari said.

Al-Jaafari noted that the hotel where the coalition delegation was staying was also where 11 ambassadors and officials from intelligence agencies of the countries that call themselves “friends of Syria,” and that they used to meet in a secret room where they were directly and covertly updated on the dialogue sessions, which is why they sent the aforementioned paper clippings to the coalition delegation every ten minutes.

“The most important gain made in the talks is that we exposed the defects of the other side in political terms,” he said, noting that we kept telling Brahimi that decisions regarding vital issues affecting the Syrians’ future will be made by the Syrians via referendum, and the other side heard that.

“We are ready to discuss any issue, but according to the logical sequence and according to priorities, and in the presence of a representation of a wide spectrum of the national opposition and other groups in order to reach full national consensus which doesn’t exclude anyone,” al-Jaafari said, adding that national opposition was excluded from Geneva 2 because the other side doesn’t really want a transitional governing body; rather it wants to rule no matter at what cost, which is amateur talk as it’s impossible to create a vacuum then fill it with the press of a button.

Al-Jaafari asserted that the coalition delegation wanted to undermine the talks or embarrass the Syrian official delegation via cheap provocation, lack of manners, or posing ludicrous ideas that would drive the Syrian official delegation to withdraw, but this backfired on them.

He said that Brahimi came to realize that the request of a wider representation of the opposition is a just demand, and that it’s likely to see a different delegation in the second round of talks.

Al-Jaafari asserted that the coalition delegation failed in the Homs test when it was revealed that it has no influence on the grounds, affirming that the issue of Homs was raised in order to evacuate Saudi-backed gunmen under the pretext of evacuating women and children.

“The Syrian government agreed to evacuate women and children, as for men, list of their names would be submitted so that no gunmen would leave among them,” he said, adding that the government went further than that by offering gunmen who turn themselves in amnesty, but it turned out that they aren’t serious about issue and that they were exploiting this humanitarian issue.

Al-Jaafari explained that the other side was evasive about the Syrian official delegation’s response, and when they were told that the government is ready to evacuate women and children, they came up with the issue of relief convoys, and when we asked for lists of civilians’ names, they started demanding to lift the siege on the city, only to reveal in the end that they had no authority over anyone in Homs.

He asserted that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are directly involved in supporting terrorism in Syria, adding that Saudi officials admitted openly to this, with them spending billions and running operations rooms in Turkey for smuggling weapons and terrorists into Syria.

Al-Jaafari noted that all the proof, evidence and information provided by the Syrian official delegation in all issues were never denied or objected to by the other side, which did not submit any statement or paper to counter that the Syrian official delegation presented; rather it was content to utter rejection, lacking the simplest form of the art of negotiation.

“The other delegation used terms that it didn’t know its political or legal meaning. It did not have knowledge of terminology despite the efforts exerted by its supporters and controllers to teach, instruct, and market it internationally,” he explained, noting that the coalition delegation had internal disputes, as in the day before the last, one of them made a positive and open preposition that differed from the others’, and in the last day one of the coalition delegation’s members stood up and announced that what was said doesn’t represent him and that he has nothing to do with it.

“We told Brahimi from the first day that we’re not here to mark a victory of one Syrian over another Syrian; rather we came with an open mind and an open heart and with very clear instructions to cooperate with all spectra of the opposition to cut off foreign interference, stop terrorism and violence, and build Syria in the way that all the Syrians want it,” al-Jaafari said.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that the coalition delegation made the wrong bet that its allies will hand it power within a month or two, and in fact it doesn’t want a solution for the crisis in Syria; rather it wants to exhaust Syria’s energies, something which the so-called Arab League is also involved in attempting.

He said that the project that the region is being subjected to is a project of Islamist fragmentations that would be used in the future to justify imposing the Jewish identity of Israel.

Al-Jaafari stressed that the United States was clear – through the comments of its President Barack Obama, State Secretary John Kerry, and Robert Ford – that it wanted to disrupt the meeting and that it’s not pursuing a peaceful political solution; rather it wants to pressure the Syrian government.

He asserted that the US statements are outside the framework of the first Geneva meeting and clash with the Russian-US agreement, saying “it cannot be a fireman on one side and a pyromaniac on the other side by arming terrorists in Syria.”

Al-Jaafari concluded by calling on the United States to understand matters correctly, refrain from being reckless in its policies, and stop interfering in Syria’s internal affairs.


SFP – 3/2/2014