Elaph learned from a high-ranking source that a meeting was held in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, which brought together leaders of the security services from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Gulf states, Russia, and Syria. The Syrian situation and ways to restore relations with the Syrian state were discussed.
Furthermore, the meeting discussed ways to provide support to the Syrians, return refugees to their homes, make fundamental changes to the political system in Syria, and establish a supreme military council headed by a figure that all parties approve of.
During the first stage, the Syrians will be returned to their homes without restrictions or conditions, all Syrian regions will be reconstructed, and all foreign organizations and foreign presence will be expelled from the country — including Iran and its militias — as well as other jihadist organizations that have entered Syria to fight there.
The same source pointed out that Syria proposed the idea of rejoining the Arab League as well as the idea of supporting Syria financially and internationally so it is able to pay off its debts and revive its economy through the formation of a high economic council headed by a specialized person. The council would include members representing the opposition and would be under the supervision of the Military Council, whose formation started in the first stage. This would happen in parallel to the process of returning Syrians to their homes, provided that the Military Council takes over the process of supervising the return, returning property to its rightful owners, and holding accountable all those who seized the property of Syrian refugees the world over.
Manaf Tlass to lead the council?
Reports have been circulating in the past few months about General Manaf Tlass as a possible head to such a council. According to reports, Tlass will visit Moscow to discuss with the Russians the structure of the council, which will include eight officers from the opposition, and likewise them from the regime.
Leader of the Free Officers Association, Brigadier Talal Farzat, confirmed that the visit took place in secret, adding in a media statement to the “Syria Files” website, that the military council is made up of the regime and the opposition to push for security and hold parliamentary elections, and then choose a president for Syria.
Autonomous Alawite rule in the northwest?
The attendees also discussed the future of President Bashar al-Assad and the possibility of him remaining an honorary president in the next stage. They added that his security and that of his close associates would be ensured, taking into account the possibility of granting the Alawites autonomy in northwestern Syria. The source said that the ideas put forward were plausible, but the implementation is what is most important. The source excluded that the process of returning Syrians would begin before the formation of the Military Council, headed by a non-Alawite figure, a council which would ensure the security of the returnees and their property and release all of those in the regime’s prisons on security and political charges.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.