The issue of the formation of an interim government was suggested for the first time seven months ago.
At the time, I, along with many members of the Coalition said that the time is not suitable for the formation of this government. But there were those who insisted on it and minds changed according to the balance of regional and international powers. The decision of formation was made, and I and some colleagues are still against this step.
Now, after my resignation from the Coalition, this government was formed, and I still think it's a misguided step for several reasons:
The first is that when the Coalition forms a government on behalf of the Syrian people and calls it the Syrian interim government, without consultation with the rest of the opposition parties, especially the forces of the status quo on the ground and the rest of the opposition factions, it increases the gap between the parties of the opposition, which are already fragmented. Especially at this particular time, as the armed opposition is under pressure to make room for Geneva II, which requires a single unified delegation of the opposition, it is important not to give the regime a chance to play on the contradictions and differences.
The second is the lack international community's desire to recognize this government, as the Coalition was informed, even by friends of Syrian people from Arab and western countries, that they will not recognize the government because they believe it will undermine the negotiating position of the opposition – which obviously has become their sole option, despite knowing the regime's ability to extend the negotiating period indefinitely and despite knowing that the agreement to destroy chemical weapons is the only agreement capable of ensuring the implementation of this deal. Thus, to recognize any other government without the approval of the regime would undermine this agreement.
The third, which results from the second, is that the foundations of the success of the government is related to the extent of its ability to be present in the liberated areas. This is difficult because the de facto forces on the ground already refuse to recognize the Coalition and its government. In addition to the lack of adequate financial abilities to provide necessary and urgent services to our people in the camps of displacement due to the lack of will of the international community and international organizations to deal with this government, unlike the Aid Coordination Unit, or any other commission responsible of providing the necessary services to our people at home or in refugee camps.
I had raised these three objections repeatedly in the meetings of the Coalition when we were talking about the formation of the government and I think that many of the Coalition members know its sensitivity, especially that many of them are familiar with international law. They know enough about the status of the Coalition inside Syria, and the status quo.
The government has been formed and I do not know yet in front of whom it will take oath. I can only hope that I am wrong and that it will be able to make a difference, either at the level of improvement of services at home, or for our people in the diaspora.
Translated and edited by the Syrian Observer