SNC Declines to Participate in the Arab League’s Opposition Meeting
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Individual members of the Syrian National Council (SNC) received personal invitations to a meeting for the Syrian opposition as part of an Arab League plan, ignoring the SNC's role as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The invitation lacked basic components of success such as a list of invitees, documents related to the meeting and an agreed-upon agenda for the event. The invitation overlooked the agreement made between the secretary general of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi and the SNC during their last meeting. They had decided that any future meeting would revolve around the unification of the Syrian opposition by discussing and authenticating the national document for the future of Syria after making changes to it.
Furthermore, the SNC was surprised to read statements by al-Arabi, reported by the press, indicating that the objective of the meeting was to form a delegation of the Syrian opposition to begin a dialogue with the regime. The SNC has repeatedly made its position clear; it will not participate in any dialogue unless it revolves around the end of the dictatorial regime and the establishment of a democratic form of government in Syria. Therefore, al-Arabi's statement clearly contradicts with the goals of the SNC. Dialogue cannot be considered until the Assad regime fulfills its promises to the Syrian people, starting with the implementation of a complete ceasefire. It also needs to withdraw heavy artillery and security forces from cities to military barracks, free detainees, allow relief agencies into the country, allow reporters and journalists to freely move around Syria, and grant the people the right to peacefully demonstrate without fear of retaliation in all cities and villages across Syria.
The SNC declines to support this meeting, but affirms that the Arab League continues to be a strong partner. The SNC will continue to fulfill its promises to the international community and to the Friends of Syria, and will not shy away from participating in any meeting of the Syrian opposition that has a chance of being successful. The SNC will heed the calls of the great Syrian people and will rise to the level of the sacrifices they made for the sake of freedom, dignity, and a democratic future.