Negotiation can start only if al-Assad steps down: SNC
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
SNC spokeswoman Basma Qadmani rejects a compromise between the SNC and the ruling al-Assad regime. REUTERS photoThe Syrian National Council (SNC) can only engage in negotiations for a political transition if al-Assad hands over power to an interim government composed of the opposition and people from the regime with “no blood on their hands,” a Syrian dissident has said.
“First, the items of the Annan plan should be fully implemented before we speak about a political process,” SNC spokeswoman Basma Qadmani said in an interview with Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, referring to the plan outlined by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan.
“We never speak about an open dialogue,” Qadmani said, adding that negotiations could only start based on a clear plan, carrying international guarantees. She said the Annan plan was an expression of the kind of international support that could be provided. “For us, this plan contains modalities for a transition to a different political system in Syria.”
Qadmani rejected the idea of a compromise between the SNC and the ruling al-Assad regime. “While the regime calls for open dialogue and compromise between parties, we see this is not a valid point of departure. The point of a departure is a plan, which will then set the modalities for transition to democracy,” she added.
The first move should be to get the president delegate his powers to a figure in an interim government, Qadmani said.
“We could have a caretaker and this caretaker would then be responsible for setting up a government or calling a government that is composed of the opposition and people from the regime, acceptable people who have no blood on their hands and were not directly involved in the repression,” she stated. That government could then carry the transition period forward in all dimensions security, political, institutional and economic, Qadmani added.
Erdoğan criticizes UN Security Council
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also reiterated his support for the Syrian opposition. “To stand by and watch with folded arms when the Syrian people are dying amounts to supporting brutality. We will never abandon the Syrian people,” he said addressing to his deputies yesterday.
Erdoğan accused the U.N. Security Council of indirectly supporting the “oppression” of the Syrian people, by failing to adopt a united stance on Syria.
“In not taking a decision, the U.N. Security Council has indirectly supported the oppression. To stand by with your hands and arms tied while the Syrian people are dying every day is to support the oppression,” Erdoğan stated. He also said that intense efforts were continuing in relation to the two Turkish journalists currently detained by the regime in Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu once more denied allegations that there were negotiations underway regarding an exchange for two missing Turkish journalists.