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Syria: National liberation army considered | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Abu-Amjad al-Suri, a deputy in the provisional Syrian parliament, stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that discussions are still on-going regarding the idea of “forming a national liberation army” as part of the project to build the state of the second independence.

In the interview on the initiative that was announced recently concerning the formation of the provisional Syrian parliament, Abu-Amjad told Asharq Al-Awsat that, “Many groups in the free army have expressed a wish to be part of the new military establishment as well as in the brigades of the free army. The discussions and consultation s on this subject continue”. He pointed out that “the difficult security conditions have prevented the initiative about forming the provisional parliament from reaching all the blocs on the ground”. The deputy affirmed that the initiative to form the provisional Syrian parliament has reached an advanced stage but it is not yet complete. It is a complete and mature initiative as far the idea is concerned and a big part of it has been accomplished on the ground. At the same time, however, it is a project that is still being developed. The deputy added that the announcement about the provisional parliament sends an open message to everyone to be partners in the project to build the state of the second independence that will form the nucleus of the civic state for which all the Syrians aspire in the post-independence stage.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat The deputy clarified that all the current blocs and revolutionary bodies are aware of this initiative through contacts with persons that represent them. He added: “Regarding the revolution’s general body, the initiative was presented to figures in its political bureau and to others, like the union of coordination committees and the coordination committees. We have many partners with us in the initiative from all the sides but in their personal capacities and not as official representatives of these sides. Regarding the statement by the general body of the Syrian revolution denying participation, I wish to draw attention to the fact that in its founding statement, the parliament made no mention of this body. It issued this statement and excluded itself from being a partner without referring to the founding statement to verify what was discussed that made no mention of it or of others at all since it is, like any other quarter, one of the sides that represent the revolutionary agitation”. On the conditions for joining the parliament and whether independents can participate in it, the deputy said: “The aim of having parliament deputies is to represent the districts to which they belong. They can be independents or members of diverse currents or quarters. However, they will be in the parliament as representatives of their geographic districts and not of their ideological affiliation. Moreover, they were nominated by their coordination committees based on the consensus reached in their districts. As for the members of the committees, they can be in their personal capacities or their representational capacities if they are affiliated to any quarter. Participation in the initiative does not clash with any affiliation as long as everyone is in agreement on the basic principles of the revolution”. On the position of the Syrian National Council opposing the provisional parliament, Abu-Amjad denied that they had received any notification or wishes to hold contacts. He said: “We are still waiting for an official statement by this council to specify its stand rather than personal statements by some of its members that sometimes contradict one another. It is worth noting that contacts were held in the past with a number of council members three of whom are members of its executive bureau.

The parliament granted 70 percent of the representation to activists outside the country and 30 percent to activists inside the country in the foreign and judicial committees. Regarding the criteria adopted to reach this formula, the deputy said: “The function of the committees is in the implementation aspect of this project. Some functions require ease of movement and travel of its members. Other committees require their members to be inside the country. The foreign policies committee and the judicial and legal committee are in charge of contacting others on behalf of the revolutionary agitation inside the country on the political and legal regional, Arab, and international levels. Thus, the bigger number of members should be outside Syria. It is an issue of distribution of tasks based on the requirements of the current revolutionary conditions and accompanying circumstances. I wish to draw attention to the fact that the chairmen of all the committees are parliament members; that is, they are revolutionaries inside the country”. On the military aspect and its relationship to the free army and the idea of forming a national liberation army, Abu-Amjad affirmed: “From the start, work has been proceeding along two parallel lines. The first is the political line represented in the nomination of deputies from all the provinces. The second is the military line in which the project was presented to most of the military brigades and groups on the ground, including the brigades of the free army”. He added: “The discussions continue on the mechanisms of uniting them all under the umbrella of the staff command to organize their ranks in a military institution that opens its doors to volunteers and grants military ranks to all those that bore arms in self-defense or to defend the peaceful demonstrations so that this institution would turn into a tool for liberation from Al-Assad’s occupation”. The deputy affirmed that many brigades and groups, including brigades in the free army, expressed a desire to be part of the new military establishment. Consultations and discussions are continuing.

On the future of the initiative and the degree of its usefulness, the deputy in the provisional parliament said that he expects this initiative to be the comprehensive and all-inclusive solution that does not conflict with any the current blocs inside the country but considers their presence and participation as a reinforcing force. He said that the partnership between the opposition outside Syria with the revolutionaries inside the country in the decision-making process and the mechanism of implementation spares them the political embarrassment in the positions and decisions made. The project organizes their work in accordance with its mechanism as part of an institutional structure with clear features and directed by the revolutionaries inside Syria and with a legal and judicial cover. It thus rightfully and unequivocally becomes the spokesman and representative of the revolutionary agitation inside the country. Abu-Amjad said that there is no such thing called the opposition anymore; all are revolutionaries now. With the fall of the regime’s legitimacy and its classification as an internal occupation, the term opposition implies that it is a body separate from the revolution. This distinction does not take into account the fact that everyone opposes the occupation and everyone is a revolutionary.