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Coalition vice-president: syrian opposition leader not ready to go to Geneva

January 06, 2014, 8:43 UTC+3 BEIRUT

Sheikh Ahmad al-Jarba will press for postponement of the conference, said Farouk Teifur

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BEIRUT, January 06, 7:50 /ITAR-TASS/. The re-elected president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCROF), Sheikh Ahmad al-Jarba "is not ready to go to Geneva," said Farouk Teifur, one of NCRF vice-presidents. He made it clerar that the NCROF leader "will press for a postponement of the peace conference until more favourable conditions for its convocation will take shape".

The newspaper Al Sharq al-Awsat points out that Al-Jarba's attitude is shared by most of members of the leadership who believe that a trip to Geneva will be a sort of "present" to President Bashar al Assad. The doves, who come out in favour of an indispensable participation in the conference, constitute a minority at the NCORF.

Al Jarba got the backing of 65 members of the NCORF General Assembly while his rival -- Syrian ex-Premier Riyad Hijab, who fled the country in August 2012, polled 52 votes.

The following persons have been elected NCORF vice-presidents: Abdel Hakim Bashar, a Kurd, Farouk Teifur -- a nominee of the Moslem Brotherhood, and Noura al-Amir, 20, the youngest activist on the Coalition's governing body.

It is expected that the Coalition's final decision concerning participation in the Geneva-2 peace conference, which is scheduled for January 22-24 and is to be held in Switzerland, will be announced in Istanbul on Monday. It is not ruled out that NCROF will split and that the liberal part of the opposition will quit its ranks.

A meeting of 200 Syrian oppositionists from various political factions and currents will be held in Cordoba (Spain) on January 9-10 under the auspices of the European Union, said Coalition member Kamal al Labwani. he said the forum would be held for creating a constructive atmosphere in the run-up to the Geneva conference. Al Jarba, however, refused to participate in that meeting.

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