Opposition Conference in Damascus: a Step towards National Reconciliation

The  opposition conference  of the Syrian " homeland " , held on September 26th in Damascus , was attended  by several numbers of opposition members, including some dissident 'officers'  as parties to the dialogue. Some of them announced  giving up dissidence and putting  their capabilities  once again  for the sake of  " Syria 's unity"  and work to maintain " reform , rather than destruction and sabotage", in the interest of the Syrian people, as they stated.

Addressing the conference, lt. Col. Khalid Abdul Rahman al-Zalem , said as a representative  of the military council  in the southern region of  the so-called  " free army": "We reject to have  a Syrian carrying arms  against his Syrian brother….we think  about the outgrowth of our beloved country and found out that alleviating the suffering  of our people requires,'' asserting the need for the efforts of all the faithful and  loyal in Syria, and for cooperation with the Ministry of National Reconciliation, voicing rejection to blood-shedding and to the killing of innocent people.

He also stressed that: "the road is open for the rest of the comrades in arms  to return back, because the solution  in Syria is political, and we must all agree on what Syria  and the Syrian people need , through maintaining reforms, no destruction.''

Another redeemer, the former commander of armed groups in Aleppo, Yasser al-Abed, said addressing the conferees: " I support your efforts to resolve the crisis, and I am with you for achieving that. They wanted to burn our country. The target is our homeland, and for that I gave up arms."

However, this was the second meeting for the opposition political groups inside the Syrian homeland, which brings together more than 30 political parties and trends.

The opposition event was licensed under the new " law of parties". It was attended by forces that have an established history in the country, such as the communists, the Syrian nationalists, in addition to other powers , demanding peaceful change .

What is striking  about this conference was that  a number of participating forces announced its opening after  they were excluded  from another conference  held by the " inside opposition" , called " the rescue conference" , when  the " national coordination body", considered  these forces ( which participated in the  September 26th gathering "  as not an opposition, rather more inclined to be part of the ruling party, and therefore it has no place  in the opposition team. 

Such a situation, pushed  these excluded sides to react solely and   convene another conference  to debate an initiative  embarking on finding a  political solution in the country  and  attempting a peaceful change , so as to avoid  the country  further death and destruction  and more economic and human losses , as suggested in statements issued by these sides. 

"The national dialogue conference ", organized  by the national Syrian opposition,  was held in Damascus on  September 23rd. It was under the title "the National conference to save Syria". It was based on "rejecting outside  interference "  and " non shedding of the blood of the Syrians". The conference was held in line with the convening of the  UN general Assembly's annual meetings . This was in an attempt  to bring about parity between the West , which sponsors " the Istanbul council " and others, a group categorized as   " enemies of the Syrian people", by pushing  the Syrian national opposition to launch  a program that opens the way for a political process  which Moscow sponsors  large part of it. The conference was  attended by delegations representing 20 Syrian political delegations, the Russian and Chinese ambassadors in Damascus , representatives for the  Egyptian, Algerian and Indian  embassies and  EU diplomat accredited  in Damascus.

According to the Russian ambassador in Damascus  Muhammadov  :" the main objective of the conference  is to put an end  to the violence, immediately by  both the government or the armed groups, while  the second  goal  is to transform  the current confrontation between the government and the opposition into the course of a political solution.


Certain components of the Syrian opposition opted to boycott it.  These included the official in charge  of the national coordination  aboard Haitham al-Manna, despite his assertion  that he will personally participate  in the conference. Manna justified the boycott  that " his return to Damascus  needs protection" which ,for the time being, isn't ensured.


The aim of the conference was  to save Syria of what is " plotted against her , in the service of foreign goals and objectives", through a course of a political solution to the crisis which  provides for  achieving Syria 's people 's aspirations  and relieve Syria  of its 18th- month ordeal  .

In a suspicious timing , two days before  the convening of the conference , two leading figures  from the opposition " Syrian national coordination board" were abducted by unknown terrorist group after returning back from Beijing , according to a statement by  the Syrian  Ministry of Information . But, the defendant in the eyes of the Chairman of the Coordinating Body Hassan Abdel Azim was ready. It was 'the regime "', whom he accused of  «standing behind the disappearance of opponents. It is clear that the purpose behind the abduction was to «thwart the conference" , which was  also boycotted by the state-building Movement» led «LouayHussein, who believed that the conference would be no more than  an oratorical festival . He added: «the conference does not offer a clear plan of action, expressing his belief that« real solutions and field results will be absent from the conference for reasons including what he called the " tyrant regime'' which still exists.


In concurrence with these developments,   Ankara announced that it moved military vehicles towards the border with Syria, at the time, when Brig. General Mustafa el-Sheikh of the so called " Syrian free army" said  that his gunmen  moved to inside Syria, in the hope  of establishing a " self-ruled  buffer zone" , that can provide  the opposition with  anti-aircraft weapon, according to the Foreign policy magazine on its August  31, 2012.

Another Opposition conference was organized by the Parisian opposition, led by the so called " "the Syrian national Council"   on September 22nd. According to the " new statesman " magazine , member of the said council Burhan Ghalioun has eulogized  what he called the ''revolution''  led by  the council , but he did not stop demonizing the Syrian regime , which he alleged of " launching a war  on its citizens", accusing the council of " working aimlessly." Meantime, two members of the conference Suheir Atasi and  Brig. Akil Hashim called for  foreign powers intervention  in Syria , while  other topics of the conference  revolved  on Sectarianism and the Kurdish question.

Meantime, both Russia and China reiterated their just position, that they would not allow the issuance of a UN resolution to impose a no-fly zone in Syria. As the United States seems, busying itself with Presidential elections, unwilling nor ready for an adventurous  military risk, as the Turkish military  junta is not either  willing to do so.


Tomader Fateh