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Resuming Geneva With New Tactics

The second round of Geneva negotiations between the delegations of the Syrian regime and the Syrian National Coalition has begun
Resuming Geneva With New Tactics

Leaked information says that both parties will adopt new tactics; the regime will accept discussion of the issue of the transitional governing body "according to the current constitution" and will try to connect the results of the negotiations with a public referendum. The opposition meanwhile, will focus on "the responsibility of violence with reference to the International Criminal Court and the alliance between the regime and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS)".


There is not an enormous change in the position of both delegations, especially after the failure of the French-Egyptian mediation in a two-day dialogue held in Cairo between the president of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmad Jarba and the General Coordinator of the Coordination Commission (NCC), Hasan Abdulazim.


Sources have noted that Syrian officials have begun to talk about the transitional governing body.The Syrian official news agency SANA reported Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi saying that "we have our own understanding of the transitional governing body mentioned in the Geneva declaration".


"We are open to discussing it if the other party wanted to be part from a democratic political process and to participate in the rebuilding of the state. We don’t have prohibited discussion subjects," Zoubi said, according to the reports.


Western diplomatic sources clarified that Moscow has put pressure on Damascus to accept the negotiations related to the transitional governing body mentioned in Geneva Declaration. But they also noted that Damascus still clings to its understanding about this body; Damascus wants to run the presidential elections according to the current constitution and president Assad can run for these elections along with other candidates.


Meanwhile, the Coalition has prepared a new negotiation plan based on "discussing the end of violence and fighting terrorism", after the Coalition refused three suggestions made by government's delegation in the previous round. The sources said that the Coalition will "provide its information related to the relation between the regime and the Islamic State (ISIS), and it will demand the stop of shelling and the opening of paths for humanitarian aid, as these last two demands are included in the Geneva I declaration and thus are not issues to discuss".


The same sources mentioned that the Coalition has prepared a file about the responsibility of crimes committed in Syria. The Coalition will request "the immediate discussions related to the formation of the transitional governing body", a step to be supported by a media plan provided by independent media experts.


As for the negotiations between Ahamd Jarba and Hasan Abdulazim, the sources said that the representatives of the NCC did not attend a meeting supposed to be held Saturday to finalize seven hours of discussion and sign "The Cairo Document". 


In a statement, the NCC stressed "the importance of the commitment to Geneva I, and balanced representative participation that responds to the political points of agreement between the different national and democratic forces." The NCC said that it decided to wait for Coalition's position towards the political and organizational documents and that the dialogue with the Coalition is suspended until the Commission receive s the Coalition's formal reply.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer



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