First Published: 2012-08-28

 

Syrian opposition says too soon to form interim government

 

Opposition figures, meeting in Berlin to present political roadmap after possible ouster of Assad, say it is premature to try to set up new state.

 

Middle East Online

United against Assad, opposition remains divided

BERLIN - Syrian opposition activists gathered in Berlin said Tuesday that it was too soon to form a transition post-Assad government after France said it would recognise a new provisional administration.

The opposition figures, meeting in the German capital to present a political roadmap after a possible ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, said it was premature to try to set up a new state.

"If the international community is not willing at this point to give recognition to a transitional government unanimously then it would be a wasted effort to jump into that," Afra Jalabi, a Syrian-Canadian member of the executive committee of the so-called "Day After Project", told reporters.

President Francois Hollande, speaking to French diplomats Monday, urged the Syrian opposition to form a "provisional, inclusive and representative" government, which he said France would recognise "as soon as it is formed".

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he found the Day After project "an important contribution to a new Syria" but appeared cool to Hollande's call.

"What is key is that the Syrian opposition unites and recognises democracy, tolerance and pluralism," he said. "We support the establishment of a credible alternative to the Assad regime."

Amr al-Azm, a US-based history professor who is also on the Day After committee, said he was upbeat that a democratic government could eventually supplant the Assad regime.

"The transitional government must be inclusive, and reflect the diverse forces" in the country, he said. "I expect sometime in the near future there will be a transitional government."

The group's project was initiated by the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace in partnership with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

The 45 participants included women and men, members of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups, those with experience in the Free Syrian Army and youth activists.

The project lays out goals including developing a new national identity based on civic unity, building consensus on key democratic principles and revamping the security forces to protect the rights of all citizens.

The document, the first of its kind from the Syrian opposition, offers recommendations for a new constitution and principles for institution building.

SNC member Murhaf Jouejati called the draft "a series of suggestions that will be taken or not by a provisional government, they are not written in stone".

Analysts say the opposition is marred by sharp differences in strategy for fighting the regime and goals for a post-Assad Syria.

 

Yemen blockade 'killing' as many civilians as war

Palestinian baby killed in arson attack by Jewish settlers

EU urges Israel to show 'zero tolerance for settler violence'

Erdogan calls for early elections if no coalition

Cash-strapped Tunisia's Syphax airline grounds flights

Kurds in Diyarbakir fear return to war

State of emergency in Tunisia extended

Jerusalem Gay Pride attack suspect lashes out in court

'Kurdish Obama' faces his biggest test

Pentagon denies US-trained rebels captured in Syria

Morocco king calls for development of remote regions

Host of US celebrities endorses Iran nuclear deal

PKK braces for fight with Turkey in Iraq mountain bastions

Kurdish party chief dismisses Turkey anti-IS raids

Thomas Cook warns Tunisia attacks affect annual results

Three Al-Jazeera journalists await Egypt retrial verdict

Kuwait uncovers new IS cell

One Turkish police killed in attack blamed on PKK

Israel approves law allowing force feeding of prisoners

New sexist gaffe of Turkish deputy PM: 'As a woman, be quiet!

UN envoy invites Syrians to ‘thematic’ talks

Egypt's gift to the world: Suez Canal Axis

Pentagon to worried lawmakers: We will remain vigilant on Iran

Hamas calls for revolt against Palestinian Authority

ISIS claims deadly car bomb in Yemen capital

Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight

Somalia ‘making progress’ despite insecurity and election delay

Germany, Iraqi Kurds say Turkey should resume peace process

Syria skeptical about Turkey's intentions in fight against ISIS

Somalia indentifies hotel bomber as former German resident

US gets formal approval to use Incirlik air base in Turkey

Saudi policeman killed, 2 injured in attack

Israel PM approves 300 settler homes in occupied West Bank

Jordan jails 8 for "plotting a terrorist act"

Israel committed war crimes on 'Black Friday'

Israeli strike on Syrian town kills 5 pro-regime fighters

Yemen orders militia to merge with army

Erdogan heads for China for talks

France seeks to revive ties with Iran

Syria army, Kurds oust IS from Hasakeh city

Yemen truce has failed to take hold

Iran urged to free Washington Post journalist

UN aid chief calls for greater Syria access

Rebels gain ground near Syrian regime heartland

Cairo furniture factory fire kills 25