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Syria opposition coalition to take part in Geneva 2 under Syrian revolutionary banner

December 09, 2013, 13:16 UTC+3 KUWAIT CITY
President of The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces: members have been meeting to present to the international community their vision of Geneva-2
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© AP Photo/Hussein Malla

KUWAIT CITY, December 09. /ITAR-TASS/. The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCR) that is based in Istanbul will take part in the Geneva 2 conference only under the banner of the Syrian revolution, NCR President Ahmad Al-Jarba stated in an interview to the KUNA news agency, made public on Monday.

“The coalition members over the past 20 days have been meeting to present to the international community their vision of the Geneva 2,” Al-Jarba said. “We agreed to take part in the conference, however, we will attend it only under the banner of the Syrian revolution.”

“The NCR had preconditions, which we announced at a meeting in London of 11 foreign ministers of the countries that are actively sponsoring the Syrian revolution. They supported these conditions, especially the creation of corridors for the humanitarian aid delivery, which has not been done to this day,” Al-Jarba said. In his view, the fulfilment of this condition would be one of the main factors of the Geneva conference success.

“Under the agreements reached in London with 11 countries, the talks in Geneva will be limited in time. A transitional government will be formed with a real executive steering body that will vested with overall authority over the security forces, army, intelligence and the judicial system,” the NCR head noted. He also stressed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not be given “any role either in the transitional period or in the foreseeable future.”

To a question what other steps the HCR was taking at present, Al-Jarba replied that the coalition was trying to persuade the International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation against Assad and a number of Syrian government officials for their alleged war crimes.

“This dossier will lay on the tables at international courts and tribunals,” said the leader of the Istanbul coalition, adding that it was necessary to actively work to this end.

The interview also touched upon the disagreement among the armed opposition and the presence of terrorist and extremist groups. According to Al-Jarba, “it is not an obstacle to solving the crisis.” There is chaos on Syrian soil at present. Extremists from abroad come to Syria, but we have nothing to do with them,” he said. “Previously, we had not had any problems with them. At present, we have them, but we do not try to fight them, we are at war with the regime,” he stressed.

Al-Jarba also indirectly stated that he had held meetings with all the sides that are fighting in Syria against the government troops to help them “find a common position to be united under the wing of the coalition.”

Commenting on an invitation to visit Russia, Al-Jarba said that he had accepted it and was going to pay a visit to Moscow, but so far could not do it due to his busy schedule. Nevertheless, the NCR head said that he would necessarily come to Russia, in order to “try to convince Russia that its interests are connected with the Syrian people, and not with the Syrian regime.”

The Istanbul coalition leader also thanked the leadership of Kuwait, in particular, Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the efforts taken by his country to provide humanitarian assistance. Al-Jarba particularly praised the conference of donor countries, held at the beginning of this year, and expressed the hope that the second conference, which will also be held in Kuwait, will bring even more money and help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

The visit of Ahmad Al-Jarba to Kuwait was held on Sunday. Remarkably, it was held a few days before the start in Kuwait of a summit of member countries of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). The summit will be held on December 10-11, and one of the main topics for discussion at it will be the Syrian crisis.

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