Representatives of Syrian opposition parties and groups attend a meeting in Damascus, Syria on Sept. 22, 2012. A total of 28 Syrian opposition groups and parties announced Saturday the indefinite postponement of the long-awaited National Conference for Rescuing Syria, which was slated for Sept. 23.(Xinhua/Hazim)
DAMASCUS, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- A total of 28 Syrian opposition groups and parties announced Saturday the indefinite postponement of the long-awaited National Conference for Rescuing Syria, which was slated for Sept. 23.
A statement issued on Saturday by the 28 opposition groups at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus said the conference has been delayed "to avoid any step that might lead to strengthening the division of the national opposition and prolonging the Syrian crisis and its high costs on our people and homeland."
The National Conference for Rescuing Syria was called for by the oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) and more other 20 opposition parties and groups.
Barwin Ibrahim, an opposition figure, said during the press conference that one of the main reasons behind the postponement is some differences between various opposition parties and the NCB regarding the vision and basics put forward by the NCB.
She said the NCB declared that it is against the militarization of the crisis while at the same time recognizes the rebels' Free Syrian Army.
Barwin also criticized the NCB for blaming only the Syrian government army for the violence in Syria without assigning blame on the armed rebels and the parties that are committing terrorism in the country.
"If the Syrian troops went back to their barracks, will the National Coordination Body be able to stop the Free Syrian Army?" Barwin questioned.
The postponement may further deepen the crack among the fractured opposition parties, which have so far failed to forge a united front to face the government of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad despite the numerous international endeavors.
Three members of the NCB disappeared Thursday after arriving at the Damascus international airport from a visit to China. Syrian information ministry said Friday that the three missing opposition figures were kidnapped by "terrorists," adding that the authorities had unleashed a wide-scale investigation and called on the kidnappers to release them.
The NCB said it could not get hold of the party responsible for the kidnapping, adding that it had informed a number of foreign embassies and national figures in and outside the country in hopes of knowing what happened to the three members.
No party claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but it came apparently to hinder the start of the National Conference for Rescuing Syria. The conference was expected to bring together a considerable number of opposition figures from both in and outside Syria who hope to craft a solution to the protracted crisis.
THE HAGUE, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The international diplomatic collective Friends of the Syria gathered in Scheveningen on Thursday to talk about strengthening sanctions, including an oil and arms embargo against Syria.
The group is a collective of over 70 countries and bodies convening periodically on the conflict-torn country.Full story
DAMASCUS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Syrian information minister said the situation in Syria now is better than any time throughout the 18-month crisis, as the state media said Friday the government troops have fully "purged" a restive suburb of the capital Damascus from armed militia.
"The situation in Syria today is better than any other day during the conspiracy Syria is subject to, and it has become clear for everyone to realize the identity of the enemy and its whereabouts... as well as who support it from outside and its tools from the inside," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview with the state TV aired Friday.Full story