Syrian Opposition Agrees Common Vision, Forms Committee to Hold Negotiations
The Syrian opposition has reached a common vision about a negotiated political solution to the Syrian crisis in accordance with Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and the relevant UN resolutions. The common vision would see the basic principles of the Syrian Revolution preserved.
A two-day meeting was held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, bringing together representatives of rebel groups and a wide spectrum of the Syrian opposition, inside and outside Syria, representing all components of the Syrian society.
At the end of the meeting, a statement was issued by the participants.
The Participants agreed to form a supreme negotiating committee whose task will be to select the negotiating delegation representing the Syrian opposition in any future negotiations with the Assad regime.
The Syrian opposition forces reiterated commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity and building a sovereign civil state based on administrative decentralization.
The participants at the Riyadh meeting backed the formation of a democratic pluralistic regime that represents all sectors of the Syrian society, with women playing an important role and with no discrimination against people regardless of their religious, denominational or ethnic backgrounds. Adherence to Human rights, equality among citizens, transparency, accountability and the rule of law would be the pillars of this new regime.
Participants committed to preserving Syria's state institutions and restructuring the army and security services. They stressed their rejection of terrorism in all its forms and sources, including terrorism by the Assad regime and the sectarian militias fighting alongside it.
The final statement also called on all foreign militias and armed groups, including those who have been recruited to fight the Syrian people, to withdraw from Syria.
The meeting underlined that a political solution must be reached in accordance with UN resolutions and with international guarantees. The process of political transition in Syria is the responsibility of the Syrians who, whilst preserving the sovereignty of Syria, will need the international community’s full backing.
Participants, furthermore, agreed that the goal of a political settlement is to establish a state where all of its citizens have equal rights. The participants also reaffirmed that Assad and the pillars of his regime cannot be part of the transitional process or any future political settlement.
The meeting’s final statement expressed the participants’ willingness to enter into negotiations with representatives of the Assad regime in accordance with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and the relevant UN resolutions. These negotiations must be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and with the support of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG). A timeframe for this process must be agreed upon with the United Nations.
An agreement was reached at the meeting to set up a committee to hold negotiations with representatives of the Assad regime. Members of this committee would have to give up their right to participate in a transitional governing body emerging from the negotiations.
Participants also called on the United Nations and the international community to force the Assad regime to take confidence-building measures before launching the negotiating process. These would include abolishing death sentences handed to Syrian political dissidents, the release of detainees, lifting sieges across Syria, giving access to humanitarian aid convoys, allowing refugees to return to their homes, stopping forced displacement and putting an immediate end to the bombardment of civilian populations with barrel bombs and other weapons.
Participants reaffirmed their commitment to the clauses regarding the transitional period in Syria defined in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué; especially to the formation of transitional governing body with full executive powers. They also expressed the need to reach a cease-fire based on the conditions to be agreed upon when a transitional governing body is formed.