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Coalition Agrees on Principles for Political Settlement in Syria 

A new document agreed upon by the Coalition details a roadmap for a political solution in Syria just days before Moscow 1 talks
Coalition Agrees on Principles for Political Settlement in Syria 

The Political Commission of the Syrian National Coalition recently recognized a document concerning the “basic principles for a political settlement in Syria".


The document, consisting of 13 items, details a roadmap for a political solution in Syria and the resumptions of the negotiation process that ceased following Geneva 2.


Member for the Political Commission of the National Coalition, Ahmed Ramadan, said in a statement to Elaf that the document on the basic principles for a political settlement, "comes in the context of the National Coalition's plan to respond to the political obligations represented in de Mistura's plan, and the initiative of the Moscow and Cairo meetings".


"The document represents an attempt to restore the political movement to its core base, which lies in the statement of Geneva 2012, the resolutions of the Security Council and what has been reached in Geneva 2 conference. The Coalition will begin a direct dialogue with the revolutionary and political forces, together with independent figures on the adoption of the document as a springboard to a wider national movement. The document also reinstalls the foundations of the Syrian revolution and its premises: to end tyranny and build a pluralistic civil system, guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of the Syrian people,” Ramadan explained.


This comes days before a scheduled meeting between opposition figures in the Russian capital of Moscow prior to direct dialogue with the Assad regime as part of the so-called "the Russian initiative" for a Syrian-Syrian dialogue.


Resumption of Geneva


The Coalition said on its website that the document stresses the resumption of negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations and on grounds set by the Geneva Conference in February 2014.


The document also stresses the aim of the negotiations is to implement Geneva statement 1, which includes the formation of a transitional governing body with full powers, including those of the president, in order to comprehensively and radically reform the Syrian political system – including the head of the regime and its security forces, with the establishment of a pluralistic civil system.


The document deals with the functions and responsibilities of the transitional governing body in preparation for the constitution, holding elections and the reform of institutions away from the authority of tyranny. The document considers that an end to the killings, bombings and targeting of civilians is a prerequisite for the launch of the negotiation process.


Elaf has learned that Coalition President Khaled Khoja has formed a delegation headed by Vice President Hisham Marwa, including Salah Darwish in the Political Commission, and Qasim al-Khatib in the General Commission, to meet with the National Coordination Commission. The delegation will meet to discuss the Syrian-Syrian dialogue between the Coalition and other factions, currents and figures of the Syrian opposition, such as the National Change current and the Building the Syrian State (BSS) current.


The drafting of "the basic principles for a political settlement in Syria" will be the focus of the discussions between the two sides during the meeting, scheduled to take place in the upcoming period, in addition to the memorandum of understanding that has been circulated in the past few days.


The Deputy President of the Coalition, Hisham Marwa, mentioned the possibility of meeting a delegation of Egyptian officials to discuss the efforts to convene a consultative meeting between Syrian opposition forces to unite their positions and serve the revolution of Syrian people.


As for the Moscow forum, the Coalition said it appreciated the position of Russian government, which realized there was no solution to the crimes and human suffering in Syria without a radical and comprehensive political solution.


The Coalition said in a statement: "The Syrian-Syrian dialogue between opposition parties began some time ago, before Russia announced its intention to hold the Moscow forum. Some of these meetings were held in countries including Turkey, Egypt and some European nations, where they are still ongoing due to the efforts and desires of the opposition itself.


“The Moscow forum’s goal is to encourage dialogue among the Syrian opposition parties – this dialogue has begun and made considerable progress, and requires further support for the opposition’s efforts from Russia and the rest of the world for a chance of success", it said.


The Coalition stressed in a statement that "it realizes Moscow is legally responsible for what is happening in Syria, and consequently has an important and essential role in reaching a political solution in accordance with the Geneva statement and Security Council resolutions. Strong and healthy relationships are built with people, not with governments and regimes, and this requires Moscow to reconsider its policies towards what is happening in Syria".


Internal disputes


In a related context, there have been reports concerning differences within the National Coordination Commission, which forced its Executive Office to allow the participation of its members as individuals, while the Information Office of the Commission said that "if the president of regime's delegation to Moscow was not Minister of Foreign Affairs Walid al-Muallem, Hassan Abdul Azim will not attend the meeting".


Elaf had revealed Moscow's failure in holding a Syrian-Syrian dialogue, which Russia described as a meeting with no pre-conditions, in addition to the postponement of Cairo meetings. The delay was confirmed by the Commission, which declared that the expanded meeting – scheduled in Cairo on January 22 – has been postponed for late March or April, while preparatory meetings will now be held on January 22.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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