Anas al Abda, member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee, said that the Syrian National Council’s proposal to the Syrian Coalition calls for the Arab League to remove UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi from office is “one of the Council’s legitimate rights as it is one of the basic components of the Syrian Coalition.” This comes after Brahimi’s statement “that Assad can be part of the solution in the transitional phase” coupled with Brahimi’s view that “the presence of Iran in “Geneva 2” is necessary and normal.”
Abda described the UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi as “not a decisive player in the Syrian file,” adding that “Brahimi’s statement about the possibility of Assad being part of the transitional process is merely an expression of diplomatic courtesy during his visit to Damascus.” He also pointed out that ” if Brahimi insists on his provocative remarks we will say to him: This is not Geneva as we know it.” Abda stressed that during his meeting with the Syrian Coalition, Brahimi had stated that “Geneva 2 is the beginning of the end of Bashar al-Assad, as it is impossible for him to be part of the solution or the transitional process in Syria.” However, the French magazine, Jeune Afrique, published a statement by Brahimi in which he said that “Bashar al-Assad was an outcast person before the agreement on chemical weapons, but turned into a partner thereafter.”
It is noteworthy that the official spokesman for the Syrian Coalition, Louay Safi, ruled out sitting down with Iran at the negotiating table at “Geneva 2” citing its “non-existence in ‘Geneva 1’ and that Iran is part of the problem, rather than the solution.”
In response to comments by UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, in which he considered that the presence of Iran at the negotiating table in Geneva is “necessary and normal,” Safi said, “he speaks about what he wants but we go on our terms.” Adding “I was not surprised by Brahimi’s words; this is not the first time that he has insisted on the presence of Iran since receiving this assignment.” The spokesperson for the Syrian Coalition added that “the coalition presented Brahimi several scenarios for the success of the conference, but the international community did not come up with any clear resolution materialized by these scenarios as Brahimi could not get any real guarantees from Assad that would ensure the success of the international peace conference on Syria.”
The Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army refused any proposals that include sitting at the negotiating table with those who had “blood on their hands.” The Council said “Let Geneva 2 die if the international community does not take a critical attitude towards the horrific massacres committed against the civilians.” The Free Syrian Army said that the Geneva 2 formula lacks everything that might suggest the possibility of reaching a concrete solution. It also stressed the need to develop a specific timetable for all stages of negotiation, besides the inclusion of binding items on both parties of the conflict under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter that does not include the prospect of the division of Syria. This comes after the meeting held by the President of the Syrian Coalition, Ahmed Jarba, the commander of the Free Syrian Army, the Turkish Foreign Minister, and the UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, in Ankara yesterday.
During a speech to the Friends of Syria in London, Jarba ruled out any proposal to accept “Iran as a mediator at the negotiating table, in addition to the mercenaries of the Hezbollah militia, Abu al-Fadl Abbas brigade, and the Revolutionary Guards” whom he considered to be the most important pillars of military and political forces who assist Bashar al-Assad in the killing of Syrians.” Jarba also considered that the final decision regarding Geneva 2 is in the hands of the Syrian people and that the “Coalition is nothing more than an outlet for the will of the people.” Jarba also said ” If we said yes to Geneva 2 we will hear the streets echo loud with: “Down with the Coalition and Geneva together.” The head of the Coalition described a Geneva 2 which would not be consistent with invariables put forward by the Coalition as a “humiliating concession” that does nothing to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people. He considered “Geneva 2” as a step by various states to beautify and whitewash their image that was tarnished in front of their people by their shameful position towards “the massacres and atrocities of Bashar al-Assad.” Jarba pointed out that the international community insists on maintaining its position of refusing to hold Assad accountable and continues to stand against the will of the Syrian people, and thus makes entering Geneva 2 impossible. Jarba warned that instead of the three no’s: “rather, there will be five no’s: no to negotiation, no to reconciliation, no to recognition, no to retreat, no to the helpless international community.”
Hisham Marwa, member of the Legal Committee of the Syrian Coalition, also considered “that the introduction of other parties into the Geneva Conference 2 is an attempt to thwart it.” He described Lakhdar Brahimi’s statements as to the need for the presence of Iran in the negotiations as an attempt by Russia to expand the number of attendees in an effort to thwart the political talks in the conference. He pointed out that “the intention of Brahimi and the Russians is to search into the details and complicate the problem of the Syrian file even more.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)