Moscow has chosen a group of rivals to represent the Syrian opposition in a meeting with the regime in Moscow, without conditions, as stipulated in the invitation sent to the selected figures and groups. There is no doubt that a political solution ensuring the end to the destruction of Syria and the abduction of the country – and its people – by the tyrant of Damascus and his economic-security mafia is a solution that should be pursued. Understandably, the solution requires meetings between representatives of the Syrian people and hijackers of Syria, in some location and in the presence of some intermediary – but is Moscow the right place? Are those invited by Moscow representatives of the Syrian people? Are the Russians an appropriate mediator, and will applying the Geneva statement be the core goal of this meeting?
In my opinion – and even though I am one of those chosen by Moscow to attend this forum – Moscow is neither a neutral, nor appropriate place. The capital of a country that continues to provide the Assad regime with 80 percent of its weapons; weapons that have killed Syrians and destroyed their cities for over four years, as the Tyrant of Damascus confessed in a television interview a few days ago.
The Russians are not the appropriate mediator to accomplish such a solution, as they remain allied to the Assad regime. The regime insisted that applying the Geneva statement as a precondition for the dialogue is not acceptable, and insisted on the participation of some political parties and figures (loyal to Assad) in the opposition's delegation. Moscow approved these two conditions, while completely ignoring the Syrian opposition’s demands to include ‘actual’ opposition figures in its delegation, or to consider applying the Geneva statement as the basis for dialogue.
We can add that some of the opposition figures invited to participate in this meeting by the Russian Foreign Ministry represent the regime's point of view more than the regime itself, and although I am personally ready to agree to any solution that includes applying the Geneva statement and saves Syria from the beasts of tyranny and terrorism, I believe delegation which will negotiate on behalf of the opposition – chosen by Russia – without any Syrian or regional participation does not assure Syrians their representation will seek such a solution.
As a result, it has become certain that applying the Geneva statement will not be the basis of this meeting – a fact that is no longer hidden neither by the Russians nor by the regime, nor by many figures that will participate on behalf of the Syrian opposition.
Due to these reasons, events in Moscow will complicate a successful political solution, leading to further regional and international polarization, with the possibility of an international-regional consensus on such a solution less likely than ever.
I think that participation in such a conference would lead to the opposite of what the opposition seeks, that is a political solution to save Syria and the unity of its land and people.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer