Syrian dissidents gathering in Istanbul announced on Saturday the establishment of the new Syrian Democratic Union including opposition figures from different movements and parties including the Syrian National Coalition, the Syrian National Council and other democratic parties.
In his opening address, head of the Democratic Bloc within the Syrian National Coalition, Michel Kilo said: "Today we are all convinced that this generation will give us new ideas.”
“I think that the presence of a large number of delegates indicates that the new revolutionary mind has started to work and express itself in a democratic way,” Kilo said.
"There is a process of eradication, depletion and destruction of the forces born of the revolution, either civil or armed – and in particular the Free Syrian Army, which is comprised of officers who refused to continue to serve under Assad's “slavery” regime, by organizations who are using the revolution's name but aim to establish a regime as authoritarian as the current one if not more,” he continued.
"Our battle should not be now, but later. But the current situation has forced us to start the battle now, as these organizations started to penetrate Syrian community and life, aiming to establish a particular model and omit everything in our society and destroy what the regime has left,” he continued.
Kilo said the eradication of parties and groups which started the revolution will divide the country into three forces; the regime, these organizations, and the scattered democratic forces.
"Therefore, we cannot allow to stray from the principles of the revolution. If the regime falls for the benefit of these organizations, it will destroy civil life in our country," he said.
He pointed out that in today's polarization, democrats should play a salvation and rescue role, and should look at the situation in that level of awareness to save Syria.
Vice President of the Syrian National Coalition, Suhair Atassi, speaking on behalf of the Coalition said that the Free Syrian Army and armed factions are not responsible for what happened after months of peaceful demonstrations, where protesters did not take permission from the regime, the opposition or any Arab or foreign country. She said it was a national decision and revolution will win with deciveness.
“We must distinguish between the regime weapons and those aimed to establish another authoritarian regime," she said.
"The democracy we dream of should not only be voting, elections or majority rule. It must be expanded to protect individuals and minority rights which should be guaranteed in the new Constitution," she added.
Atassi added that democratic regime requires the presence of political opposition. “The existence of a democratic system is not enough on its own to create a democratic society, therefore, Syria needs to launch social organizations to distribute affiliations horizontally, not vertically which things link to precedents, democracy should be turned into a culture in order to prevent the authoritarian regime from coming back.
Ahmed Touhmeh, the head of the new interim government, in his address stressed that the Democratic Union is inkeeping with the agenda of the new interim government.
“I am convinced that the majority of Syrians think according to a logic similar to what we are talking about. The interim government aims at building democratic institutions and building the Syrian national state guaranteeing security for its citizens, maintaining peace and providing basic needs to secure a decent life for all citizens," he added.
Toumeh explained the objectives of the government are to activate the role of civil society, and developing and establish future state practices to meet the desired objective for all Syrians, stressing that the Federation document is one of the best for Syria future, with many points in common with the interim government.
Mohammed al-Haj Bakri, from the Syrian Coast, meanwhile, spoke on behalf of the Syrian people inside the country. He emphasized the need for a national army, stressing that there is no compulsion in religion, and every individual has the freedom of choice.
Bakri pointed out that media wars were distant for people living inside Syria, and that those abroad were expressing their opinions alone.
The meeting was held over two days.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer