The new initiative from Sheikh Mouaz Khatib is not linked to any organization in the opposition, but is an attempt to touch the pain of the Syrian street, which seeks only to be rid of oppression and suffering endured for more than a thousand days by the displaced and those under explosive barrels.
The screams of the widows, the bereaved, the distraught and the slaughtered transcends all else, while the efforts of the opposition go to analysis and explanations of the international conspiracies and positions. These illusions have no impact on the ground, and nothing changes but the number of dead.
Khatib's latest initiative suffers from the same problem suffered by any other individual initiative; they come from a person seen by many Syrians as trustworthy and appreciated with the hopes of salvation, although Khatib did point out that this time there are many national figures behind this initiative.
The initiative did not become more than an activity on Facebook, and it is unlikely that the regime will respond. Nonetheless, the idea is grounded in reality. It is based on the five indicators that Syrians agreed upon: a refusal to divide the country, a refusal to depend on regional projects, the independence of Syrian decision-making, the immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria and launching the peaceful solution.
To launch this initiative, a broad range of well-known national figures should be included in the program. Mr De Mistura, the new U.N. envoy should be involved, and it should be followed by a visit to the capitals that have influence in Syria, especially Iran and Russia. The initiative should be carried to Damascus by the international envoy to the ambassadors of these countries in coordination with capitals in influential on opposition's decision-making, meaning Ankara, Riyadh and Qatar.
I do not believe Syrians disagree on the target and I do not deny they are different in style. It is quite possible that the decisions of Geneva I, or the decisions of the consultative meeting approved by the regime in July 2011 can be a sufficient ground for the desired dialogue. Both explicitly state the establishment of a Ministry of Human Rights with real powers over security forces. We also need a special Ministry for Refugees to provide them with dignified return to their homeland, and provide safe areas protected by the U.N. inside Syria to help refugees to return to their homes and build them again.
But the most important aspect is the communication between the initiative and the interior of Syria. By this, I do not mean fighters, but the political street inside Syria. The interior appears to favor the elimination of opponents and includes a number of political forces which call for dialogue and calls for Syrians to return to their homeland and participate in the reconstruction.
They deserve greater respect as they suffer from the predominance of the security forces which control their activity, and we should rely on these forces and encourage them.
What is needed is to build confidence on both sides by meetings between the elites from all parties. The success of Syrian parliamentarians, academics, artists and diplomats in the meeting can be a first step towards other successful political meetings, different from the violent ones experienced in Geneva negotiations.
We need to build trust between the green flag of the revolution, and the red flag of the regime to work to get out of the disaster stage and and stop the wars of nations taking place on Syrian territory.
We disbelieve our minds if we thought that the other party has no conscience.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer