Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Syrian opposition leader offers to talk to Assad regime

    January 30, 2013   No comments

The president of the foreign-based opposition coalition, Mouaz al-Khatib, said on Wednesday that he was ready to hold talks with representatives of President Bashar al-Assad outside Syria (in Turkey, Egypt, or Tunisia) if authorities released 160,000 detainees and renewed expired passports to Syrians outside the country. 

"I am prepared to sit down directly with representatives of the Syrian regime in Cairo, Tunis or Istanbul," al-Khatib said in a statement on his Facebook page. 

The Syrian National Council, which constitutes nearly 60% of the membership of the National Syrian Coalition, slammed al-Khatib’s statement. “The Syrian National Council confirms that [al-Khatib's] statements do not reflect the Syrian National Coalition's stance, and contradicts the Coalition's basic structure and the Doha agreement that created the Coalition,” a statement released by the group on Facebook said.

This development could be a response to an earlier initiative by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who had offered amnesty to anyone accused of crimes in connection with the last ten months of anti-government unrest and resulting violence. The regime sent letter to world organizations explaining the steps the government will be taking to encourage reconciliation and to end the bloodshed.

This development reflects the uncertainty about the best ways to manage the Syrian crisis. The new elections in the United States and the reconstitution of Obama's security team, the war in Mali, and the listing of Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group, all forced a need for a new approach to this bloody conflict. Moreover, the coming elections in Egypt adds to this certainty. In Turkey, too, the ruling party is already preparing for next elections and for amending the constitution and the leaders of the party want to find a resolution to a crisis that is weighing heavily on their national economy and security.



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Islamic Societies Review Editors

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