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Syrian opposition to announce “National Council” – Source | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Asharq Al-Awsat has learnt that the Syrian opposition is preparing to announce the establishment of a “National Council”, which will form the nucleus of a future Syrian government, following the ouster of the al-Assad regime.

In a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Syrian political activist Adib Shishakly said that the announcement of the “National Council” will be made from Istanbul on Sunday, 21 August 2011. He also revealed that he will be a member of this “National Council” which will be made up of between 115 and 125 members.

Shishakly confirmed that the “National Council” will represent all of Syrian society, and bring together the different strands of the Syrian opposition. He revealed that the Syrian opposition figures who took part in the Antalya Conference and the National Salvation Congress in Istanbul, will participate in the “National Council”, adding that efforts are also being exerted to include the Syrian opposition who met in Brussels in June.

Shishakly, who is a member of the National Salvation Congress that was held in Istanbul in mid-July, also told Asharq Al-Awsat that coordination is taking place with the Syrian opposition inside Syria to ensure that the “National Council” represents the Syrian people, of all different backgrounds and sectarian affiliation. He said “we formed an internal committee to consult on this issue” adding that “there will be no icons [within the National Council], but rather technocrats and opposition figures that have been chosen in a scientific manner based upon the geographic distribution of the [Syrian] provinces to ensure that all ethnicities and sects are represented.”

The Syrian political activist denied that the announcement of this “National Council” was in any way tied to the EU and Washington’s recent calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down from power. Shishakly stressed that the forthcoming opposition conference in Istanbul – where the “National Council” will be announced – will be different than previous opposition conferences, as it will a “unified conference for the Syrian opposition.” He also revealed that invitations had been sent to Syrian opposition figures at home and abroad, and that the formation of a Syrian opposition human rights committee, and media committee, would also be announced during this conference.