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Former Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan 'enters Syrian politics' Open in fullscreen

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Former Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan 'enters Syrian politics'

Mohammed Dahlan plays a shadowy role in Arab politics [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 October, 2017

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Feared former Palestinian security chief Mohammed Dahlan is playing a role in Syria negotiations, according to opposition media, due to his links to UAE.
Former Palestinian security head Mohammed Dahlan is playing a lead role in Syrian negotiations, according to Arab-language media.

The former Fatah official has reportedly offered Syrian opposition groups two options for the future of the country, both of which would see President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power for a set period of time.

UAE-based Dahlan is said to have offered anti-regime politicians the option of UN-monitored parliamentary elections early next year with Assad participating in the presidential race, according to al-Quds al-Araby.

The second option would see Assad remain in power until 2021 with the formation of a military council to help govern the country.

The military body would be "tasked with stabilising security and restoring an environment allowing constitutional political life", Syrian media outlet Enab Baladi reported.

This follows the release of a photo on Facebook by pro-Moscow Syrian activist Randa Kassis showing her with Dahlan.

The photo was dated from September but hints at possible role for the unpopular and marginalised pro-Russia opposition camp in negotiations over the future of Syria.

Unlike other Gulf powers, the UAE is believed to have played only a minor role in supporting rebels in the Syria war.

It has been more active in backing nationalist, anti-Muslim Brotherhood forces in Egypt and Libya.

Abu Dhabi has allegedly courted Dahlan as a security adviser, due to his brutal campaign against the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza during a low-scale civil war in 2007. 

Dahlan is believed to have helped form the Syria's Tomorrow opposition group - which is said to be close to Saudi Arabia and Egypt - in Cairo, along with secular activist Ahmed Jarba.

"[Jarba is a] flexible man without significant principles apart from his opposition to Islamists and to Qatar and Turkey, and therefore in harmony with Dahlan," Enab Baladi reported Sinan Hatahat saying.


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