Elaf has learned that the meetings of the Syrian National Coalition on 5, 6 Januray will be held far away from Istanbul and will be without media, guests or phones for the first time to prevent leaks to the media.
The meeting comes after a meeting of the political commission to discuss whether to participate in Geneva II and to specify the members of the delegation if a decision to participate is made.
The meeting will also elect the President of the Coalition, the Secretary General, and members of the new political commission.
Discussions will include some organizational procedures, such as relations between the Coalition and the Interim Government and its support units.
It is expected that the Coalition will accomplish these tasks quickly, especially after it was suggested that a press conferences be held with the media bureau somewhere far from the hotel where the commission's meetings are held.
Complex issues facing Geneva II remain: The fate of Bashar Assad and the participation of Iran in the conference. Moscow and Damascus are trying to turn Geneva II from a conference for peace in Syria into a conference dedicated to fighting terrorism.
The regime Prime Minister has repeated that the regime will participate in Geneva II, but that will not mean a handover of power, saying Syrians will choose who will lead them in the next phase.
The President of the Coalition Ahmad Jarba responded by saying that the departure of Assad and trial of criminals in the regime are the basis for holding the conference. Jarba stressed in his meeting with French President Francois Holland in Riyad that the Coalition rejects Iran's participation in Geneva II.
“Iran will not participate in the negotiations before the withdrawal of all its fighters from Syria. And if the Iranian administration wants to play a positive role as it claims, let it make this step,” Jarba said.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer