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    Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

    Assad's stay in transitional period 'matter-of-fact': opposition deputy

    | 2016-07-10 17:38:44
    Assad's stay in transitional period 'matter-of-fact': opposition deputy

    Writing by Fathi Bayoud and Abdullah al-Ghadawi

    (Zaman Al Wasl)- The ripple effects of Hasan Abdel Azim’s, the chairman of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), statement last month have not ended. In the statement he said clearly, “that al-Assad’s leaving before the transitional phase is an impossible condition,” and the coordination between the NCB and the Democratic Forum (the active body in the national coalition) led to a new turn in the political movement between the opposition forces.

    According to reliable sources obtained by Zaman al-Wasl, on June 30 2016, 5 days after Hasan Abdel Azim’s interview with Zaman al-Wasl, in the German capital Berlin, NCB member John Nasta (holds German citizenship) met with the Deputy Coalition Chairman Mouaffaq Nyrabia in his house to raise the level of coordination and understanding between the NCB and the Democratic Forum as Nyrabia is considered one of its most prominent members.


    Interview: Assad's ouster is 'crippling condition' top opposition figure says


    The meeting focused on discussing placing the committees agreed upon between the sides in Brussels, forming a joint high committee that balances the size of the High Committee for Negotiation, as both sides see the Negotiation Committee is only a technical device for executing the will of the active political forces within it. As such it is necessary to form a solid political front that works to modify this committee, increase its members, expand the circle of negotiators for both sides to have a deep role, and define the committee’s authority. Especially as they see the role of the committee has become political under the leadership of Riyad Hijab, a figure with much agreement among Syrians… they are searching for a political entity to stop him, and they are working through a big problem entitled, “Bashar al-Assad’s role in the transitional phase.”

    The signs of an understanding between the NCB and the Democratic Forum are becoming clear through the insistence of the political committee controlled by the democrats of the continuing to work in committees outlined in Brussels in June 2016, despite the divisions inside the political committee after Hasan Abdel Azim’s statement to Zaman al-Wasl that al-Assad’s leaving before the transitional phase is an impossible condition.

    The surprise in Nyrabia and Nasta’s meeting was the call Hasan Abdel Azim undertook with the first when he said to him literally, “I agree with you that al-Assad’s remaining in the transitional phase is realistic and logical,” but announcing that publically may be taken advantage of by hawks amongst the Coalition and the Negotiation Committee to attack the Democratic Forum and the NCB, so it is not to our advantage at this point to announce this position, and the words are Nyrabia’s after a discussion with Nasta in an attempt to put out the fire of Abdel Azim’s statement to Zaman al-Wasl according to a source from the National Coalition.

    Preparations for the Transitional Phase and Confronting the Muslim Brotherhood
    Information obtained by Zaman al-Wasl indicates that alignment of the Democratic Forum and the NCB on the necessity of al-Assad remaining in the transitional phase relies on both parties wanting to have a role in this period based on their role as a balanced and effective front within the Syrian opposition, as they see it. This enables them to enter parliamentary elections (in the event of their occurrence), and justifies their presence in the transitional phase with the need to face the Islamic forces especially the Muslim Brotherhood, and scaling the role of the regime remnants. As such and before such a scene there must be a clear vision for this phase and mechanisms to deal with it, and perhaps the repeated subsequent visits between the sides in Brussels that the Democrats are leading is part of this strategy.
    Where are the Hawks and the Military?

    The answer to the most important question in this continued debate must be reached at the level of the General Secretariat of the Coalition, and since the Coalition suffers from a state of isolated islands, then it is necessary to direct these islands from the Muslim Brotherhood to the representative of the Local Committees, representatives of the military forces, and other members. And regarding those Mouaffaq Nyrabia referred to as hawks, has the Coalition gone from the representing the forces of the revolution to hawks and doves… and what about the Coalition President Anas al-Abdah’s stance?

    It is correct that the military forces are busy with the fighting fronts, but it is the first side concerned with these details as it is blood that moves the pawns on the chessboard, as it is the first and last concerned what takes place of political attractions within the opposition forces.

    -Confrontation with Saudi Arabia-

    In the event the new direction of the Democratic Forum and the NCB is announced there will be wide regional ripples especially from the Gulf states particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, is settled on the equation of “no to al-Assad remaining” from the first day of the start of the transitional phase.

    Those two forces are putting back the Syrian crisis to the Iranian Russian square, which sees al-Assad as a crucial part of the transitional phase, as well as dealing a strong blow to the Riyadh conference which settled the issue on the basis al-Assad’s presence would not be present at all during this phase. As such this direction will cause a struggle or perhaps a confrontation with Saudi Arabia that sponsored the Riyadh conference in the presence of all the political forces… so is the Democratic Forum and the NCB themselves ready for such a confrontation with one of the countries most entrenched in the Syrian affairs.

    -Will Assad remain-

    Despite that Syrian decisions are not in the hands of these forces and they are not the main players in the process of the conflict, except their work in such a secretive fashion raises anxiety and questions, “who enabled these forces to issue the decisions, and what is their reference?”

    If this direction is based on a national need, they why do they not come out publically and declare to Syrians this project, if they are working for Syria, and we can assume their good intentions, then let them come before the Syrian people and all the other political forces, away from the backstage and private corridors.

    Al-Assad remaining is a matter of a destroyed country and a people who paid a lot over the course of the past five years, so if their intentions are honest let then be out in the open.

    Hasan Abdel Azim said honestly that al-Assad going is an impossible condition, and now the Deputy Coalition Chairman Nyrabia- through what Zaman al-Wasl have found- agrees that al-Assad remaining in the transitional phase is logical and realistic. (Translation by Rana Abdul)


    Keywords:  Syria
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