Syria's Muslim Brotherhood meets in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse
(L-R) Ahmet Yousef, Ali Sader Aldeen Albayanony, Mohammad Reiyad Alshukfa, Mohammad Farouk Tayfor, Ismaiyl Jaddaa attend the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood press conference. AFP photoSyria's Muslim Brotherhood will share power and respect democracy if President Bashar al-Assad is toppled, its leader said yesterday.
"The regime is trying to show that the Muslim brotherhood are trying to control Syria alone," Mohammad Riad Al Shaqfa told a news conference in Istanbul in remarks translated into English.
"We want a democratic Syria and we do not want to control the country alone," he said, ahead of the international conference of "Friends of Syria," scheduled in Istanbul for April 1.
Meetings of various factions of Syrian opposition will take place this week in Istanbul, and "90 percent of the opposition parties will be united by April 1, under the umbrella of Syrian National Council", which already includes majority of opposition parties, said the Islamist leader.
The movement's number two, Farouk Monir Khalid, described as "good news" a decision by the United States to assist Syrian rebels with "non-lethal" aid. "It is a good step to help" the rebels, he told AFP.
US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed Sunday on the need to send "non-lethal" aid to Syrian rebels, including communications equipment, said US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
"We expect to have funds to help the SNC, and more decisions to stop the killings in Syria," to emerge from the next "Friends of Syria" meeting, Khalid said.
"We assure that we will accept the result of free elections. We assure that the rights of all Syrians will be guaranteed, of all groups and beliefs." When asked about the fate of the Kurdish minority in Syria, he said that the Muslim Brotherhood "are looking for a non-centralised administration in Syria." Monitors say at least 9,100 people have been killed in Syria since anti-regime protests broke out last year.