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Syria's domestic opposition slams lack of agreement at Geneva II

English.news.cn   2014-02-05 00:56:27

DAMASCUS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Syria's domestically-based opposition parties slammed the lack of progress in the first round of talks at the Geneva II conference aimed at solving the Syrian crisis.

Anas Joudeh, deputy head of the Building Syria State party, told Xinhua in an interview Tuesday that the first round of talks, wrapped up last Friday, had drifted away from a political solution to the crisis.

"Both sides at the conference focused on their interests ... and didn't work on ending the crisis in Syria politically," he said. "If some issues are not rectified, it would negatively affect the Syrian crisis."

The home-based opposition groups have complained that they were not invited to the crucial talks. The United States, one of the sponsors of the conference, said the Syrian National Coalition ( SNC) in exile could represent other opposition parties.

On the other hand, Russia, another sponsor, said recently that broader representation of the opposition parties could result in more comprehensive understanding in the upcoming negotiation round.

Commenting on the Syrian government's counter-terror push in Geneva, Joudeh said: "Fighting terrorism through military means alone will not lead us to the democratic transformation and will even succeed in combating terrorism."

He also took a swipe at the SNC's adamant stance that any political decision must be preceded by the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "Assad's departure in this phase would not help produce a solution to the crisis. On the contrary, it would further complicate it."

He reiterated that "the solution must be participatory among the Syrian forces on the basis of their shared goal of a democratic transformation in Syria."

Meanwhile, Ahmad Esrawi of the National Coordination Body, a prominent domestic opposition party, said "a suitable climate" must be found for the Geneva II conference to succeed.

Speaking to Xinhua on Tuesday, Esrawi said three things must be in place in order for the conference to start in a good climate -- a cessation of violence on part of all parties, the release of all political prisoners hostages, and secure food and medical supplies to besieged areas.

"If we could achieve those things, we can make the Geneva II successful by finding a political solution through discussing the establishment of a transitional government according to the Geneva I communique."

The first round of talks between the delegations of the Syrian government and the SNC ended Friday amid an atmosphere of mistrust and uncompromising stances. The second round is set to open on Feb. 10.

Reports said the superpowers are mulling expanding the participation of opposition groups, alongside the SNC, to ensure more inclusive representation, a matter that could help achieve tangible results.

The Geneva II conference aims to achieve an agreement between the government and the opposition for the full implementation of the Geneva Communique, adopted at the Geneva I conference on Jan. 30, 2012.

The document called mainly for an end to the violence and establishment of a transitional government in Syria. However, it falls short of discussing the fate of Assad in the proposed transitional period.

Editor: yan
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