DAMASCUS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Mixed reactions from the domestically-based political opposition groups have been running around after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reaffirmed in his inauguration speech that his administration would stick to its policies in fighting terrorism, and promoting "national reconciliations."
Assad's Wednesday speech marked the start of his third seven- year term as president of the war-torn country, focused on the so- called national reconciliation that have taken place between the government troops and the opposition in several hotspots across Syria, where the rebels agreed to a ceasefire and put down their weapons in exchange for amnesty.
Many opposition figures believed that such reconciliations were mere truces as these reconciliations were implemented in areas besieged by the government troops, where the rebels and their civilian backers suffered from starvation that led to their eventual surrender.
Asef Daboul, a member of the oppositional National Coordination Body, Syria's largest alliance of non-violent and anti- interventionist dissidents, said the so-called reconciliation "is not the political process needed to solve the Syrian crisis."
Instead, he said a viable political solution should be based on the 2012 Geneva communique between the government and the oppositions, which requires the establishment of a transitional government until the birth of a "democratic, national system."
In his speech, Assad stressed that "since the first days of the aggression, we have decided to go on two parallel paths: striking terrorism without wavering and embarking on national reconciliations with those desirous of returning from the wrong path," urging the rebels to abandon their rebellion against the government.
"I repeat my calls today to all those who have held weapons to lay their weapons down because we will not stop fighting terrorism and striking it wherever located until we restore peace to all spots in Syria."
The Syrian government has long maintained that it has been fighting foreign-backed terrorists set to undermine the administration since the civil war broke out shortly after opposition protesters sought Assad's ouster in March 2011.
The conflict has since witnessed the death of over 100,000 people with millions of other Syrians displaced in neighboring countries.
Mahmoud Muri, the secretary-general of the oppositional National Democratic Body, said the president's speech included " several important points."
He told Xinhua the president's resolve to counter terrorism in Syria was the most important point that should be taken seriously in the coming phase, now that Syria has become the number one destination for global jihadists who are joining the ranks of radical militant groups on ground in Syria.
Muri also noted the president's desire to keep up with the work on implementing national reconciliation and dialogue, adding that the dialogue is what really concerns his opposition group.
"As opposition, we are interested in the dialogue, and the political solution must be prepared for through a national conference in Damascus that could group members of the government and the opposition parties," he said.
He believed that this should be the task of the government, which should prepare the atmosphere for a national conference so that a political solution to the Syrian crisis could be possible.