Spokesperson for the Syrian Coalition, Louay Safi declared that “attending Geneva II is in the hands of the Syrian people and that the Syrian Coalition is nothing more than an executor of the Syrians’ will.” He also said that the Syrian Coalition “has not yet made any formal decisions in regards to the formation of the interim government or its participation in Geneva II, although both issues are being discussed by members of the General Assembly of the National Coalition.” Safi added that the “principles set by the Coalition will be the guidelines for any decision regarding Geneva II, which should culminate in the departure of Bashar Assad with a trial for crimes committed against the Syrian people.” In addition, Khalid Saleh, director of the Syrian Coalition’s Media Office, called for opening humanitarian corridors to areas under siege and the release of prisoners and an end to military operations as well as the transfer of power with all its components, organs and institutions to the transitional government.” Saleh demanded that there should be a specific timetable for all stages of negotiation,” adding that the element of time is an essential element of the topics that will be negotiated and one of the principles set by the Syrian Coalition. “Assad and his associates will have no place in the political process in Syria,” he stressed. Saleh also added that “we do not put preconditions to participating in Geneva II; rather, those issues are the framework essential to the success of the negotiations” Saleh also pointed out that “the principles of Geneva I represent the central pillars of the basic framework for the success of the negotiations at Geneva II.” He also emphasized the “Syrian Coalition’s serious pursuit to secure a suitable climate to ensure the success of the interim government through financial support that will finance all the projects which had been prepared in order to serve the Syrian people,” adding that ” this government will need a budget of $50 million US dollars a month, $300 million US dollars for the first 6 months.”
In a speech at a Friends of Syria meeting the Head of the Syrian Coalition, Ahmad Jarba had already asserted that “If we say yes to Geneva 2, we will hear loud echoes from the streets saying “Down with the Coalition and Geneva together.” Jarba criticized the international community’s lack of balance in its political speech and its inability to stop the massacres committed by Assad against the Syrian people and said: ” We asked for a no- fly zone or strikes that would deter the regime which has shed a lot of blood, but you didn’t answer our call… and today you want us to sell the blood that you were unable to stop from bleeding.” The head of the Coalition said that if Geneva 2 is not consistent with the principles put forward by the Coalition then it would be nothing but “a humiliating settlement” that does not meet the aspirations of the Syrian people. He also considered Geneva II as a move by some states to attempt to whitewash their humanitarian faces in front of their own people after they were tarnished by their shameful positions “towards Assad’s massacres and atrocities.” Jarba pointed out that in the event the international community insists on maintaining its position of refusing to hold Assad accountable, and standing against the will of the Syrian people, then participation in Geneva 2 will be impossible. Jarba threatened a refusal to participate in the game of international politics saying “rather than three no’s there will be five no’s: 1. No negotiations 2. No peace 3. No recognition 4. No retreat and 5. No to the impotent international community.