Beirut, Riyadh- The political and presidential body in the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces in Istanbul reviewed the Syrian political process and the expected solution from Geneva talks with Britain’s Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tobias Ellwood and Britain’s special envoy to Syria Gareth Bayley.
The Syrian opposition noticed British and European concern regarding the US-Russian deal on the Syrian file and Bashar al-Assad’s fate.
The Syrian Coalition said that the Assad regime is still not serious about political transition, adding that the regime’s repeated violations of the “cessation of hostilities” agreement threaten the entire political process.
During the meeting, the Coalition said that the Assad regime continues to block the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas and refuse to release detainees.
The Coalition also pointed out that the previous rounds of negotiations in Geneva did not produce concrete results because the regime evaded engaging seriously in a political transition process and has not agreed to a specific agenda.
For his part, Ellwood reaffirmed his country’s support for the Syrian Coalition and the Syrian people’s demands for freedom, dignity and removal of the dictatorial Assad regime.
Member of the Syrian National Coalition Samir al-Nashar considered that the problem lies in the fact that neither the British nor the French or any other US ally has a clarified idea about the nature of the US-Russian deal on the Syrian file.
Al-Nashar confirmed Asharq Al-Awsat that the US-Russian deal not only raises concerns and doubts among the Syrian opposition members on its nature, but also raises concerns among France, Britain, Gulf Countries and even Turkey since they do not have a clear image of the deal either. “They are waiting until Assad’s fate is clarified for them to take final stances,” he added.
Al-Nashar emphasized that Obama’s visit to the Gulf might be to reassure the GCC, especially Saudi Arabia, which is the greatest partner for the U.S. in the region, and explain Washington’s policy towards Syria.
He also said that it is important that the U.S. clears up Assad’s fate and his departure issue since Syrians believe that any solution that excludes the departure of Assad will not be implemented.
In addition to that, member of the negotiating delegation, George Sabra, spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat that their meeting in Riyadh today aims at assessing the developments and discovering their ability to penetrate Geneva’s next round in order to assure that the talks yield results. It is necessary to make sure the coming round will lead the HNC to a real solution that provides an adequate ambiance for the political transition, he said.
Sabra explained that the outcomes of the meeting in Riyadh will allow the HNC to take more serious and strict decisions before holding the next round of negotiations, which Staffan de Mistura scheduled for this month.
George Sabra confirmed that facts on ground indicate that the Syrian regime is still committing genocides and using toxic gases.
“The Syrian regime has disengaged itself from all the commitments related to the truce, which obliges the HNC to collect detailed information on all what happened and is happening in Syria in order to assess the actions and decide whether the opposition will participate in the next round of negotiations in Geneva”, Sabra said.