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Maleh Says Egypt Preparing New Initiative on Syria

There was no immediate comment from Egyptian authorities
Maleh Says Egypt Preparing New Initiative on Syria

The head of the Legal Committee of the Syrian National Coalition, Haitham al-Maleh, said the Coalition has information that the Egyptian leadership is investigating some Syrian opposition figures to prepare a new initiative to solve the crisis.


"The Egyptian interference in the Syrian crisis was motivated by Saudi Arabia which wanted to reactivate the Egyptian role in Arab issues," Maleh said.


"The movements of Cairo in dealing with the crisis started with investigations about some opposition figures, including me, in order to meet and listen to them as part from the initiative being prepared," he added.


There was no immediate comment issued by Egyptian authorities, but an Egyptian diplomatic source said in earlier statements to the Saudi al-Watan newspaper on Wednesday that an Arab initiative, led by Egypt, was discussed in the meeting of the Friends of Syria in Jeddah last week in order to solve the Syrian crisis.


"What has been published is untrue and the Egyptian position is clear: We want a political solution for the crisis, not a military one, that meets the aspirations of Syrian people and builds a real democracy that reflects the variations among Syrian people," the source said.


The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmi, met a delegation from the Syrian opposition in May, including the former president of the National Coalition, Mouaz al-Khatib. Some analysts said they expected Cairo to prepare an initiative to solve the Syrian crisis, but those reports were later denied.


Maleh said he welcomed any initiative to solve the crisis on the bases of Geneva I, involving Assad's stepping down and the transfer of power to a Transitional Governing Body, but stressed that any initiative should not deprive the Syrian people of the chance to put Assad and his regime on trial, either in front of local or international courts.


Regarding the possibility of whether the Assad regime would respond to such an initiative, Maleh said that Assad is an agent and the main player in the Syrian scene is Iran.


"Even if Bashar Assad wanted to respond, if Iran didn’t the initiative will not succeed," he explained.


Iranian officials have expressed directly and clearly their support for the Assad regime. The Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs, Hussein Amir Abdullahian, said in April that "Tehran is committed to supporting the reforms of Assad, and it supports any attempt to solve the Syrian crisis".


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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