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Kilo: whoever accept Russia's preconditions for Sochi is a traitor- Interview

Interviews | 2017-12-25 10:07:02
Kilo: whoever accept Russia's preconditions for Sochi is a traitor- Interview
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The prominent opposition dissident Michel Kilo confirmed that the planned Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Russia’s Sochi at the end of January will not result in anything since its a Russian pretext to keep Bashar al-Assad in power.

In an interview with Zaman al-Wasl, Kilo said whoever from opposition platforms goes to Sochi under the Russian conditions and without guarantees from the International Community will be considered a traitor.

On Sunday,the Russian Foreign Ministry said it is preparing the list of participants at the Dialogue Congress. The ministry also said that they will not allow Sochi to become an arena pro-Assad leaving. Continuation of the former only supports the opposition’s desire to continue an armed conflict, the ministry added.

Regarding the transitional period dilemma, Kilo voiced his support for the leadership of ex-Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa for the transitional stage, pointing out that the terms of the transitional period must provide for the international will and then the regional will. 

The full  interview: 

- Do you think that Farouk al-Sharaa, as it is rumored, is capable of managing a stage fraught with regional and international complexities other than the entrenchment of the centers of the security forces in power?

No one can manage the transitional period without international support, whether from the United Nations or consensus among the major powers, and it is not necessarily with all regional powers, such as Iran. No one can agree with it [Iran] because they did not come to Syria to help al-Assad or anyone else but to integrate Syria into the Shiite axis and [they] consider it part of its [Iranian] sovereign entity. 

And Syria will dissolve in light of the Iranian control as an independent state and society separate to the Iranian state and society. It also represents a situation that no one can manage the stage by coming to an understanding with it [Iran] because they directly manage this stage, and everyone knows that Bashar al-Assad is a toy in the hands of the Iranians and no one dares contradict them.

So, whether it is Farouk al-Sharaa or someone else, they cannot manage the stage except with international support represented by the United Nations or an understanding between the two major parties. And at the same time, this requires Arab support because the regional powers represented in Iran and Turkey each seek their own interests.

- As you mentioned, Khaled al-Mahamid and Haitham Manna are among the people who suggested al-Sharaa. Do these people have a voice that goes so far as to suggest the name of the leader for the transitional period? Is this not an exaggeration?

We each have the right to propose whomever we want, whether the person has influence or not, I can propose the Prime Minister of Canada to manage the transitional stage in Syria. Al-Sharaa as a proposal for the transitional stage is old, from 2012, and not new. Many of us believe that if the subject of al-Sharaa is raised, many will accept Farouk al-Shara, I am one of them, as a face for the transition to a temporary stage. Because if we want a democratic Syria, then we need a democratic leader and al-Sharaa left the regime and thus al-Sharaa is the right choice.

- Geneva failed and Sochi is at the door... Will something useful come out of Sochi?

Sochi based on the Russian specifications will not result in anything but will be the culmination of Russian efforts to contain all the Syrian parties after announcing the presence of 11 military bases in Syria. They contain Syria with Bashar al-Assad and his regime and today they want to contain all the other Syrian parties within the framework of going for a national unity led by Bashar al-Assad and remove the idea of a political transition from the current regime to an alternative system. And [they want] to dissolve the idea of transitioning to the opposition from the current regime as a political solution. They consider this a political solution and this transition will not be acceptable in any case.

Whoever wants to go to Sochi based on these conditions and without internationally confirmed guarantees from all parties, and not the Russians, that the outputs of Sochi will align with international resolutions will be a traitor.

At the same time, we must ask ourselves the question: What should we do if we do not go to Sochi or if we make it fail?

Not going and being united in the context of a Syrian national decision unconnected to any particular affiliation, but a Syrian national framework needs a great amount of effort to form a framework and a Syrian national decision that all participate in. When it is said that from today our reference about going to Sochi should be composed of the Coalition of the national and military forces then no one will go and those who go will be severely punished.

- What can we do to make this national decision a form of protection for Syria from crazed Russian reactions?

Sochi's failure effectively means foiling everything that the Russians have done to date and they will begin rearranging the situation with violence and murder to force the world to accept what they want.

The failure of Sochi means that what they want has failed, and therefore its failure or rejection will not be an easy issue but will require a lot of work internally to fortify our situation. We do not have enough time and we have proposed many things to fortify our situation over the past five years till today but to no avail.

I say if we do not go to Sochi and we persist in our current situation we will pay the biggest price and this does not mean that we should go as far as it means we must organize ourselves.
And if we do not go and we do not organize ourselves, we will pay an even heavier price for not organizing ourselves and not going. 

- Transparently, the form and performance of the new delegation body... What is your assessment?
As long as the committee's delegation is committed to the idea of political transition as a reference to any solution, I believe that everyone should support them without looking away from them or saying that they will manage the issue.

Negotiations should be an expanded national Syrian effort with agreement about its outputs, mechanisms and stages. The aim is not to focusing the spotlight on someone or force him to do something or order him or blame him. In the end, this is called the Syrian position on negotiation.

Today while I was checking social media pages, I thought that we should form a negotiating delegation composed of 12 million people and we should keep them away from the media because they will attack each other, trade insults and accuse each other of treachery. 

I have never seen such a state of chaos that has no beginning and no end and will not end well.
There are now between 10-12 million legalist, nationalists, negotiators, politicians, and propagandists. I cannot predict the results of this chaos, confusion and treachery, but no one sees your work, but all of them see you based on prior judgments.

And there are 12 million people who have nothing to do but criticize and defame. I think that this climate is not conducive for national work and will not produce national options and no one will be left with reputation nor dignity. 

- There is a lack of media and leadership for Michel Kilo. Why is this the case and for how long?
I was not as present before as I am today. I joined the Coalition at a moment when there was a great shift in it from freedom to Islam, from the peaceful [movement] to the armed [struggle], from a semi-national decision to an Arab and international decision, and from a revolution of a people against its regime to an arena for broad international struggle that turned Syria through US, Russian, Iranian and other policies.
I am present in Syria as I have never been before and I have a high degree of interaction with the Syrian reality and I have confidence in Syrians and many of them share that confidence in me.

Zaman Al Wasl
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