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Domestically-based Syrian opposition calls for equal representation in Geneva II

English.news.cn   2014-01-17 00:12:58

DAMASCUS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Domestically-based Syrian opposition National Coordination Body (NCB) on Thursday rejected to participate in the upcoming Geneva II conference, calling for an equal representation with the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC) in the peace talks.

In an interview with Xinhua, Ahmad al-Esrawi, a senior member of the NCB, said that his group will not attend the conference under the umbrella of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition umbrella in exile, as proposed by the Western powers.

The SNC's possible representation of other opposition groups inside Syria has raised the ire of the NCB, which repeatedly said it would participate in the conference with a unified delegation but not under the SNC's umbrella.

The NCB would consider changing its mind in case two demands were fulfilled, Al-Ersawi said .

"We would participate in the Geneva II conference on two conditions; if there was a joint negotiating delegation capable of negotiating with the government delegation, or if there was more than one delegation for the opposition and in this case our body will name its independent delegation," he said.

He noted that any conference that doesn't reflect the Syrian people's vision in a political solution, would fail.

"We believe that any conference that doesn't reflect the vision of the Syrian people in the political solution, would fail and if the exiled oppositional Syrian National Coalition was pressured to attend the conference, surely the conference would fail."

The Geneva II Conference, slated for Jan. 22, aims to engage warring Syrian parties to seek a solution to the prolonged crisis.

Meanwhile, Jamal Mulla Mahmoud, head of the Kurdish Democratic Party, said his group, which is affiliated with the NCB, will not attend the conference in Geneva under the current conditions.

He, however, noted that the rejection doesn't mean that his group is against the conference or any political solution on Syria.

"We are not boycotting or rejecting the conference and we insist on the political and peaceful solution but not according to the imposed conditions, not according to bargains that put the real Syrian case aside," he told Xinhua in an interview Thursday.

"The party that will negotiate with the Syrian government must be a patriotic party that adopts a national project with a strong delegation to dialogue with the regime's delegation," Mahmoud said, referring to the SNC's affiliations to the West.

The Kurdish figure further expected the Geneva II to be postponed.

"We say that we have a clear, mature vision that has accumulated over the past three years of crisis in Syria and the regime also has its own vision so let's come together and create a consensus on the future of Syria, that is what should happen in Geneva conference," he said.

Earlier in the day, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said that there is a serious international political will to hold the Geneva II conference, particularly by Russia and Iran.

In a televised interview, al-Zoubi stressed that counter- terrorism is a prerequisite for walking in the political path for resolving the crisis in Syria.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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