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Coalition Remains Divided Over Attendance at Geneva

The source said the Coalition will decide whether to go to Geneva II on Saturday or Sunday
Coalition Remains Divided Over Attendance at Geneva

French sources say questions remain over the Syrian National Coalition's attendance at geneva II peace talks, following the meetiong of the Friends of Syria in Paris last week and side meetings between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russia's Sergei Lavrov and France's Laurent Fabius with the president of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmad Jarba.


There are clear disagreements within the Coalition related to the nature of support received by the different opposition groups from some Arab countries, the source said, adding that while they had been under control for some time, they re-emerged recently.


The source said it is still difficult to guarantee the support of 60 members in the Coalition – not only because of the different political positions, but also due to internal dynamics between the members themselves.


The source said that the Coalition will decide whether to go to Geneva II on Saturday or Sunday.


Jarba and other "rational" members in the Coalition are willing to go to Geneva II, the source said, adding that they had been reassured by a request by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for Jarba to form the opposition delegation. This means Jarba is in charge of forming a "wide and homogeneous delegation, which is important for Paris, and an advantage because Russia wanted to include those who claimed defection from the regime in the opposition delegations," the source said.


The source said Russia wanted to add indiviuals like Ali Haidar and Randa Qasis to the opposition delegation.


The source said that the situation on the ground has revealed divisions among fighters and a clear weakness on the part of the Free Syrian Army. However, the source said FSA fighters are now fighting alongside other factions including the Islamic Front against jihadists. however, ths source said this situation raises more questions and international anxiety, saying "it has become difficult to deliver the military support to specific troops to fight terrorism and reach a political solution with Assad".


The source said that with the absence of strong support from abroad, "the situation remains under the control of divided local forces".


According to the source, the main question remains whetrher the Coalition goes to Geneva, and if it the negotiations will reach an agreement on procedures to show goodwill from both parties, whether it will help justifying its participation and retain credibility. Kerry has indicated the Coalition may lose support from the U.S. if it does not attend, the source said, but added: "How does America support the opposition now?".


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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