SNC spokesperson: Syrian opposition not driven by foreign agendas

Ahmed Eleiba , Thursday 17 Nov 2011

Syrian National Council spokesperson tells Ahram Online opposition will 'move against the Al-Assad regime' regardless of political transformations in region

Bassma Kodmani speaks in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, 15 September, (Photo: AP).

In an interview with Ahram Online, Basma Kodmani, spokesperson for the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), talked about the council’s efforts to garner international support for a United Nations resolution against the embattled regime of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Kodmani pointed to SNC Chairman Burhan Ghalyoun’s recent visit to Russia, which has continued to block UN action against Syria, as an example of such efforts.

Internally, the SNC’s primary mandate would be to support a fact-finding mission dispatched by Arab rights organisations to Syria, Kodmani said, noting that the council had already set up a committee to provide the mission with logistical support and ensure observers' freedom of movement.

At an Arab ministers' meeting last week, the Arab League called for talks between Syria's various opposition movements to be held under league auspices. According to Kodmani, a preparatory committee has been drawn up in advance of a scheduled opposition conference to be sponsored by the pan-Arab body.

Kodmani rejected the view that foreign agendas, regional or international, were driving the Syrian opposition. The real agenda, she said, was "to deal with the crisis on the Syrian street in one way, that is, to curb the regime."

Kodmani went on to say that Iranian support for the Syrian regime must end, adding that the opposition would "move against the regime" with Arab League backing, regardless of the political transformations currently taking place in the region.

Asked about ongoing contacts between the SNC and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Kodmani acknowledged that the SNC had contacted the UNHRC, stressing that the SNC was in touch with a number of international rights organisations. She went on to note the importance of the UNHRC's role in monitoring and reporting the situation on the ground.

As for the Assad regime’s response to a recent Arab League initiative aimed at halting the ongoing crackdown against anti-government protesters, Kodmani asserted that there was no serious intention to do so. She expects the 500 observers currently in Syria to be harassed.

“How is it that, after the Arab League gives the regime a few days to end the crackdown, the regime responds by requesting an emergency Arab summit?” asked Kodmani.

Kodmani reiterated the SNC’s commitment to implementing Arab League resolutions, emphasising that "all methods" would be used to stop the violence in Syria.

She concluded by saying that all factions of the Syrian opposition must come to consensus about a vision for the transitional period. 

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