The Syrian opposition faces an important moment in the battle against the Assad regime. The opposition's approach to the conference has been cautious given its frustrations with the weak position of the countries supporting the revolution and fearing unwelcome surprises.
Those who are optimistic about the conference say there is a possibility of forming a transitional governing body with full executive powers to enter a new phase in Syrian history.
But the voices supporting the Geneva process are still weak within the opposition. Fears among the political and media opposition towards the talks reflect a lack of trust in the international community and in the ability for the divided opposition to enter difficult and complicated negotiations.
Syrians' faith in the Friends of Syria countries is almost lost after three years of empty statements, conferences and declarations. Assad's regime still sheds the Syrian blood without the fear of any recriminations.
Meetings between the Syrian National Coalition, its supporting states countries and Russia have not changed the general impression that the Syrian opposition faces a deceptive and well supported regime alone.
The Coalition has asked over the last three months for specific steps to show the regime's goodwill; breaking the siege around the besieged cities and towns and the release of political detainees, especially women and children.
There has been very limited progress considering the first demand; trucks carrying medicine and food have been allowed to enter the neighborhood of Moadamiyeh and a meeting was held in Paris between the American and Russian foreign ministers assured the possibility of allowing more aid would enter the besieged areas. Captives have also been released through exchange operations.
But as yet there has been no progress on providing opposition forces with weapons, and the United States still refuses the delivery of weapons through the Turkish borders due to concern over Al-Qaeda.
Talks with the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov showed that the Russian attitude has not changed at all and that it is obviously still committed to the regime.
The only positive progress on any of the opposition demands was shown on the invitation message to Geneva conference. The message specified the goal of Geneva II as "to form a transitional governing body with full executive powers" and specified that the Geneva I declaration is the reference for negotiations. This represented a response to Coalition's demands and applies a new political position suitable for starting the transitional process to move away from the domination of the president and his regime.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer