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SNC member considers Bashar al-Assad’s reforms formal

July 12, 2012, 13:47 UTC+3

The delegation failed to convince Russia to change its position on the political crisis in Syria

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MOSCOW, July 12 (Itar-Tass) — Reforms carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are formal and not realized, and pursue advertising and propagandistic goals, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, Mahmoud al-Hamza said.

In an interview with the International Life magazine on Thursday, al-Hamza said al-Assad was unable to carry out reforms in the country.

If he carries out them, he will take himself away from power. As a corrupt person he cannot fight against corruption. This is only the propaganda in order to tell lies to the international community, the Syrian opposition member said.

Al-Hamza said he is convinced that the elections in the so-called Syrian parliament had been faked. This was a spectacle. The country needed fair elections like as in Egypt and in Tunisia, the opposition leader stressed.

Commenting on the results of the talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, al-Hamza said the talks had been very useful and positive. “We exchanged views and our conversation was sincere. We agreed to continue consultations and talks. This channel is opened and we will continue this process,” he stressed.

At the same time, SNC chairman Abdelbasset Seyda said on Wednesday, July 11, that the delegation failed to convince Russia to change its position on the political crisis in Syria. “The dialogue helped understand each other better, but Moscow’s position remained unchanged,” he emphasised.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a report that the delegation of the opposition Syrian National Council stressed Russia’s key role in creating conditions for ceasing violence and launching a transition political process in Syria.

“The parties exchanged views on the development of the events in Syria and prospects for normalizing it. Russia stressed its commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis by Syrians themselves. Only the dialogue between the Syrian opposition and the government, without any preconditions, can cease violence, prevent the destruction of the country and realize the Syrian people’s strive for the democratic, free and sustainable development within the united state with respect of rights of all ethnic and confessional groups,” the ministry said.

Lavrov urged his interlocutors “to take a clear and unambiguous position, which confirms the SNC readiness to fulfil its obligations in compliance with the Kofi Annan Plan, the U.N. Security Council resolutions and the Action Group decisions”.

Members of the Syrian delegation exposed their view on the situation in Syria. “They stressed Russia’s key role in creating favourable conditions for ceasing violence and launching the transition political process,” the ministry said.

The SNC delegation also held consultations with Russian presidential special envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bodganov.

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