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Syrian Coalition is only legitimate representative for Syrians: El-Araby - Daily News Egypt

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Syrian Coalition is only legitimate representative for Syrians: El-Araby

Egypt is hosting Syrian opposition for two days to reach political resolution in Syria

During the opening session, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed Egypt's support for the Syrian people. (Photo Foreign ministry handout)
During the opening session, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed Egypt’s support for the Syrian people.
(Photo Foreign ministry handout)

The Syrian coalition is the only representative for Syrians as agreed by the ministerial council of the Arab League, said Secretary General Nabil El-Araby on Monday during the two-day Syrian opposition conference in Cairo.

El-Araby added, however, that the decision over the coalition’s representation in the Arab League has so far not been taken, as the Arab League is only comprised of states.

He told Daily News Egypt that it has not been decided whether the Arab joint force, which is planned to be fully established before 29 July, will intervene in Syria or not.

Syria’s membership in the Arab League has been suspended since November 2011, as hundreds of civilians died as a result of violence since the start of the country’s uprising in early 2011.

The Syrian opposition conference hosts leading Syrian opposition groups on 8-9 June to reach a political resolution in Syria. The conference was originally scheduled to be held in April, and witnessed a large turnout from leading opposition coalitions and parties in Syria.

During the opening session, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed Egypt’s support for the Syrian people. Shoukry and El-Araby called for the Syrian factions to unite to solve the crisis.

Shoukry noted in his speech that the international community has so far not come out with a consensus on the political settlement in Syria. He added that with the political process frozen for a long time and the military operations escalating, the presence of a political solution has become “more urgent” than ever before.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has held several meetings starting in January 2015 with a group of Syrian oppositional bodies with the aim of creating one opposition front according to the Geneva I communiqué.

“The conference aims at forming a united front against Al-Assad,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdelatty told Daily News Egypt.

During the preparation meeting, Shoukry pushed for a political resolution to overcome the four-year long political and security crisis in Syria, through creating common ground between different opposition groups to stop the bloodshed.

The opposition factions outlined preliminary recommendations to solve the crisis during the preparatory meetings. The recommendations included releasing all Syrian detainees and stopping the war crimes that include shelling civilians and depriving from leading a normal life as well as ending the non-Syrian military presence in Syria.

However, Ali Al-Ibrahim, a Syrian journalist based in Damascus, had stated earlier: “We do not need a political solution here, but rather a ground-based solution that points the revolutionary guns towards the Assad regime forces.”

Fayez Sara, president of the National Coalition of Syrian Opposition told Daily New Egypt at the conference: “This conference is mainly tackling the political aspect of the conflict resolution, so it does not need to include all factions of opposition, but only the ones who are concerned with the political solution.”

“We are aiming to develop a political road map and enact it for post Al-Assad’s Syria. The international community and Arab community as well should all unite alongside the Syrian people to safely get rid of extremist and disarm them,” he added.

The transitional body is part of the Geneva communiqué and as a matter of concept it should have privileges of political and military resolutions. According to Sara, the transitional body will take over as soon as the road map is outlined. Sara took part in the conference as an individual; not as a representative of the coalition.

The fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, which started in the city of Deraa, was marked on 15 March.  Syria has gradually become a home for multiple Al-Qaeda-like insurgents, such as the Al-Nusra Front and “Islamic State” (IS). What started as a revolution has majorly deteriorated into one of the most deadliest conflicts of the past decade, leaving thousands of people dead, including children, and over 3 million refugees across border countries.

The conflict has left about 6 million refugees displaced inside Syria, and 3 million refugees displaced in neighbouring countries, such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, and Egypt as well according to United Nations (UNHCR).


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