Local councils and civic bodies in the provinces of Dara’a, Quneitra and Rural Damascus announced outright rejection of the upcoming Sochi conference as they stressed that whoever participates in the Russian-sponsored conference will lose legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people.
In a joint statement issued on Friday, the councils stressed that they would not give up the demands of the Syrian revolution, namely the departure of Assad and his regime, the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full powers in accordance with UN resolutions, the release of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime, and knowing the fate of missing persons.
The statement emphasized that any delegation, body, council or individual who will participate in the Sochi conference will lose legitimacy, adding that it would delegitimize those who would announce their participation in the conference.
Head of Dara’a provincial council Ali al-Salkhadi told Smart News Network that “they will declare whoever goes to Sochi as an enemy of the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution.” He noted that “Russia is complicit in the killing of the Syrian people and cannot play the role of a guarantor or a sponsor.”
Salkhadi warned that everyone who goes to the Sochi conference would be subjected to trial, adding that the Free Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit in advance against all participants in the conference to be held at the end of this month under the auspices of Russia.
Furthermore, the statement said that everyone who participates in the Sochi conference in any capacity is a “traitor to Syria and the Syrian revolution.” It warned that the councils would prosecute those who will attend the conference and that it would consider illegitimate any decisions that might come out of the conference.
In a similar vein, Syrian activists held a sit-in in the town of Kafranbil in rural Idlib on Friday to announce rejection of the conference Russia billed as the “Syrian National Dialogue Conference” due to be held in the Russia city of Sochi.
Participants in the sit-in, who included local notables, held signs reading “Sochi is Assad’s lifeline,” and “Russia cannot play the roles of the arbiter and the foe.”
The opposition Syrian Negotiations Commission earlier on Saturday announced it would boycott the Sochi Conference scheduled to be held in Russia later this month. The decision followed lengthy discussions with UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura during the UN-sponsored Vienna meeting that was held on January 25-26. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)