Beirut, Asharq al-Awsat- A sense of optimism has engulfed the Syrian National Council, as it believes that the Al-Assad regime has reached its final stage. Consequently, the council which is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey, intends to escalate its activities in the same manner as “with former regimes when they became close to collapse like Egypt and Libya”.
Within this context, National Council member Hassan al-Shibli said in a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that “the regime has started to feel that things around it became tight; therefore, it is making charges and is trying to circumvent the decisions that have been issued by seeking support from Russia and China.” He expressed belief that the regime “will lose these two allies soon due to its reckless tone, the same as it lost Turkey and the Arab League with the continuation of the Syrian people’s insistence on its demands, the peaceful nature of their movement, and their distinguished performance.”
Al-Shibli expressed belief that “the Syrian opposition has become united now more than any time in the past, since the stands of the Coordination Commission have started to melt into the positions of the National Council.” He pointed out that “after the campaign launched by Syria’s envoy to the Arab League against the Qatari foreign minister, the turn of the foreign minister has come when he rapped the position of Nabil El-Araby, Arab League secretary general. However, all this would be useless and in vain.”
While Al-Shibli expressed belief that it would be ” stupid for the opposition to engage in dialogue of any sort with Al-Assad’s regime because there should be no dialogue except on the mechanism of the transfer of power and halting bloodshed,” Umar Idlibi, member of the National Council and spokesman for the local coordination committees in Syria, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the talk about a new invitation for dialogue is meaningless and has come too late.” He recalled that “the regime has spoken since the first week of the eruption of the popular movements about a comprehensive dialogue with all strata of the opposition without implementing any of its promises.”
Idlibi pointed out that “there is a clear confusion by the regime in administering its crisis,” explaining that Syrian foreign minister Walid “Al-Muallim’s call for holding an Arab summit does not go in line with the charges he made to 18 countries that took part in issuing the decision,” stressing that “all the talk within this context is only an attempt to play for time and shows that the regime has fully lost its credibility.”
National Council member Adib al-Shishakli did not differ with what his two colleagues have said. In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, he expressed belief that “Russia has a political stand it is trying to sell,” and expected that “Russia would change its position that supports the regime after the Arabs adopted a firm decision because Moscow would not relinquish its relations with the Arab countries for the sake of Syria.” Al-Shishakli emphasized that “we have become used to the falsehood and hypocrisy of the regime,” and said that “there is a sort of loss and confusion within the framework of the attempt to find a way out for their crisis, and I think they will never find it.”