Don't make Assad key to ending war, warns oppostion

Don't make Assad key to ending war, warns oppostion
2 min read
28 September, 2015
With world leaders hinting at a softening of positions on the future of Bashar Assad, leading opposition figures warned against making him key to ending the war.
Syrian dissidents have called on the UN General Assembly to reclaim the Syrian cause [Anadolu/Getty]

The Syrian crisis is expected to be one of the most prominent subjects to be discussed at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, which will begin its general political discussions today, Monday.

The Syrian war was already a subject of  discussions during sideline meetings between several Arab and international officials.

The United States, Britain and some other allies in recent days have softened demands that Assad immediately leave power, raising the possibility that he could stay during a transition. 

A group of Syrian opposition figures sent a letter to world leaders warning that "it is unacceptable for Assad - who has worked on dividing the Syrian people, and who has bet on sowing discord and sectarian and nationalistic strife among them - to become a saviour from this disaster, or a symbol for consensus, which he had undermined with his personal will and determination."

The Syrian opposition figures called on the UNGA to reclaim the Syrian issue and decision-making concerning it "after the [UN] Security Council showed its inability to meet its obligations." 

The letter also asked the UN to "apply its decisions after the Security Council failed to do so because of the conflict of interests of countries, particularly resolution 2118, which endorses the Geneva Communique as a recourse for a political solution."

While the opposition underscored that "the Syrian State cannot recover without holding those responsible for its collapse accountable," they also asked the world body "to issue a landmark decision to confirm the international community's commitment to maintain Syrians rights, protect Syria's citizens, and assert the sovereignty of its people and its unity in the face of all foreign ambitions and custodianship."

The letter was signed by:

Burhan Ghalioun (first chairman of the Syrian opposition Transitional Council), Hussein al-Odat (member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change - NCC), Jamal Suleiman (prominent Syrian producer, director and actor), Riad Hijab (former Syrian PM – defected), Riad Seif (Prominent Syrian businessman - a dissident), Abdel Hamid Darwish (secretary of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria), Fida al-Hourani (prominent Syrian activist), Muntaha al-Atrash (prominent Syrian human rights activist), Moaz al-Khatib (first president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces), Michel Kilo (one of Syria's leading opposition thinkers - writer), Haitham al-Maleh (Syrian former judge and former political prisoner).