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Syrian Dissidents Return to Damascus

In a telephone interview to a hotel in Damascus, opposition figure says agreement to compromise based on failure of the opposition abroad
Syrian Dissidents Return to Damascus

Six Syrian dissidents have returned secretly to Damascus, including former member of the Syrian National Council,  Basil Kwefi, Qhatan Salibi and Basil Taqi al-Din, as part of a compromise with the Syrian regime that includes preparations for the convening of a national conference.


They are now residing in a hotel in the center of the capital Damascus.


In a telephone interview, Kwefi said that his return came after he became convinced that Syria is going through a dark tunnel and that the solution must be Syrian.


"Especially after realizing the impotence of the Syrian opposition abroad and the dependence of the National Council and the Coalition on foreign agendas that complicate the Syrian crisis rather than help to solve it in addition to the effects of the continuous Russian-American disagreement about the future of Syria and the crisis in Ukraine, making Syria in front of an unknown fate."


Kwefi noted that they have returned to Damascus as opposition and that there is a list of some 140 Syrian dissidents also wishing to return. He said he and his company ventured to return in a step to build bridges of trust with the regime and that they serve as a test for the rest.


And about his conception of the solution under this state of intractability, Kwefi confirmed they are preparing to hold a national conference based mainly on the terms issued by Kofi Annan, which were approved by the United Nations and adopted by the conferences of Geneva I and II. He said he considers this conference will present a national solution that may succeed or fail, but there must an attempt to preserve the unity of Syrian land and people.


Kwefi added that the idea received a response from the Syrian authorities and that a preliminary consultative conference will be held abroad that is likely to include about 100 opposition figures, noting that the planned conference will not exclude anyone from the National Council or the Coalition, because the goal is a Syrian political solution for the sake of Syrians.


Kwefi said the group had not been subjected to any security investigations and that they move with the utmost freedom, adding they can even leave Syrian territory.


Kwefi is one of the founders of the Syrian National Council, but withdrew after visiting Doha in 2012.


This is the first time an opposition group has returned to areas controlled by the regime, although some other individual cases were previously recorded after compromises were made with the security services. Another 14 Syrian dissidents are expected to arrive in Damascus in coming days.


One Syrian dissident, who has already returned to Damascus after a compromise was reached, said that these actions occur due to the corruption and failure of Syrian opposition abroad which lost the trust of people and due to the clear tendency of most people to stop the bloodshed.


Translated and edited by the Syrian Observer


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