Over the course of three days, representatives of the National Coordination Committee met with officials of the Syrian National Coalition to negotiate a number of issues, mainly differences over the opposition’s Negotiating Commission.
A delegation from the Coordination Committee arrived for the first time in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday. The delegation was led by the head of the commission, Hassan Abdul Azim.
The Coordination Committee is the largest bloc in the Negotiating Commission, after the coalition bloc. It represents the opposition inside the country, although there are several opponents in its ranks living abroad.
The issue of outstanding problems in the negotiating commission represents the main priority in the discussions held between the Coordination Committee’s delegation and the coalition, especially since the differences have greatly affected the performance of the commission over the past three years.
Disagreements erupted within the commission at the end of 2019 over the issue of its eight independent members. The Coordination Committee and its allies from the Moscow and Cairo platforms consider that their term of membership has expired, while the coalition and its allies in the military bloc reject the replacement members who were chosen as an alternative.
While the coalition says that the independents who were nominated to fill the positions of outgoing members in Riyadh in 2019 are fully affiliated with the other party, and that their election was conducted illegally, the Coordination Committee and its allies say that the current independents are almost entirely affiliated with the coalition.
Despite attempts to bring the two sides closer together over the months following the crisis, the negotiating commission’s blocs did not reach an agreement. This prompted Saudi Arabia to sever relations with the authority, to close its office in the Kingdom, and to stop the financial support it provided as salaries and expenses.
According to the sources, the coalition was waiting for the visiting delegation to have an offer backed by Saudi Arabia to end Riyadh’s estrangement with the Negotiating Commission. It turned out that representatives of the Coordination Committee came to Istanbul without prior consultation with Riyadh, which made the coalition stick to its position and reject the proposal with the absence of a ” serious reciprocal”.
In other news by Syria TV, Salem al-Meslet, head of the Syrian National Coalition, and Hassan Abdul Azim, general coordinator of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, said that what unites the two opposing parties is more than what divides them. This comes in an attempt to unite the efforts of the two sides to face the Assad regime politically, aiming for its departure.
This came in the first meeting of its kind brought together the heads of the Syrian opposition in a live interview broadcast by Syria TV on Sunday evening in the program “Damascus Forum”.
The two sides stressed that positions had been coordinated, and that two meetings between representatives of the two parties had been met so far, and that the dispute revolved around the Syrian negotiating commission, regarding the voting of its independent members.
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.