A member of the Executive Office of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCC), Safwan Akkash, has denied participants of the Commission have refused the "principles" of the Moscow Forum, as reported by a number of media agencies.
Akkash stressed that participants of the commission "did not reject or accept" the principles because they expressed the personal impressions of the Forum Coordinator, Vitaly Naumkin.
"Here is the text of my speech in the press conference at the Russian Foreign Ministry. The "Moscow principles" contained in this speech are the personal impressions I have developed through my discussions, and they have not been discussed and agreed upon. As the coordinator of the Syrian-Syrian dialogue, I have provided this text. I have included in this text some of the paragraphs quoted from the letter of invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry, as well as some ideas put forth by participants from different parties. I stress that these principles are not obligatory; they are my personal findings and my reading, which was supported by some of the participants from both sides. They are subject to criticism and amendments”, Naumkin said in a televised speech.
Akkash added, "I spoke to him personally and I told him if these impressions will lead to commitments, then let us discuss them. He replied: no they will not enforce any commitment".
A number of media agencies claimed that NCC participants from Moscow refused the Forum’s "principles”, which concluded in the Russian capital last Thursday. The event was attended by an official delegation from the Syrian government, chaired by Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari, and more than 30 opposition figures. The Forum, which aimed at paving the way for a comprehensive Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Damascus, lasted four days.
Opposition participants in the Forum confirmed that Moscow will supervise a second round of dialogue, according to a clear agenda to be put forth within the next few weeks. They said that Moscow had accepted to play the role of mediator at political, humanitarian and military levels. President of the Syrian delegation announced that the Syrian government hopes to hold a comprehensive dialogue in Damascus.
Mona Ghanem, Deputy President of Building the Syrian State Current (BSSC), which refused to participate in the Moscow Forum, said in a statement: "The consultative meetings of the Moscow Forum have finished, as expected, without clear and specific results. This confirms that the solution to the crisis does not need consultation and dialogue meetings, but, as we have said repeatedly, it needs clear-cut negotiations, where the parties attend after they are all convinced that the solution to the crisis needs everyone's efforts and painful concessions from all of them".
The BSSC believes a solution to the crisis can only be found through negotiations between the regime and the opposition: "It is in vain to return to the same consultative meetings organized in 2011 (the Sahara Consultative Conference, which was organized and sponsored by the regime). If the regime is honest and serious in reaching a solution, it can start with the implementation of the results of the Sahara Conference; the release of detainees and the end to the prosecution of opposition politicians and activists".
The BSSC re-emphasized that the crisis in the country "is not only a crisis of violence and subsequent terrorism, the basis of the crisis is oppression, tyranny and arrogance".
"[We] hope serious Russian efforts can lead to something better than such meaningless meetings", the BSSC said, claiming that it expected “the Russian government to communicate professionally with the parties of the conflict and invite them to negotiations sponsored by Russia itself".
The Deputy President of the Syrian National Coalition, Hisham Marwa, said in a press statement on Friday that "the Russians are not qualified to sponsor a dialogue between Syrians", and that any dialogue between the regime and the opposition not based on the implementation of Geneva resolutions "will contradict the international resolutions and the rights of the Syrian people and their revolution".