Opposition fronts to meet in Cairo
The Arab League is set to gather together all Syrian opposition groups, including those who believe that the solution is to convince the Syrian government of the need for change as well as those who are in favor of toppling the Assad regime. The convention will take place on May 16 and 17 in Cairo.
However, a leading member of the main opposition group the Syrian National Council (SNC), who talked on condition of anonymity, said it was out of the question for them to sit at the same table with Bashar al-Assad before he implements the first five preconditions of the Annan Plan.
The SNC, led outside of Syria by Burhan Ghalioun, and another prominent opposition group inside Syria called “National Coordination Committee,” or NCC, led by Damascus-based lawyer Hassan Abdul Azim will be gathering in Cairo in order to discuss the 6th article of the Annan Plan, which prescribes sitting at the table with the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for dialogue.
Syrian arm of PKK is part of NCC
The National Coordination Committee, which was formed at a congress in Damascus, gathers most of the political parties of the “National Democratic Rally,” including the Syrian arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the PYD.
The SNC member said “the NCC includes a party like PYD within its structure. However there can not be an opposition party like PYD, which on the one hand cooperates with the al-Assad regime and on the other hand presents itself as part of the opposition.”
SNC members are thus cautious about the meeting, which aims to develop a common vision amongst the different opposition groups, he added. “Our vision of a new Syria can not be built with the current regime in place, and we can only discuss a transitional period that will lead to regime change,” the SNC member told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview on May 9, adding that President Bashar al-Assad first has to implement the first five articles of the Annan Plan. He added that the SNC had opened its door to all other opposition groups.