Syrian Opp charts ‘transition period’ | Pakistan Today

Syrian Opp charts ‘transition period’

The Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition group has signed a political agreement with another faction of dissidents laying the ground rules for a “transitional period” should the regime be toppled, a statement said. The SNC, a major umbrella of factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, signed the deal with the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria, NCB chief Hassan Abdel Azim said on Saturday.
According to the statement received in Nicosia, the NCB and the SNC signed an agreement “which sets out the political and democratic rules for the transitional period,” should Assad be ousted by a pro-democracy uprising that erupted in March.
The accord also “determines the important parameters for Syria’s future which aspire to ensure that the homeland and every citizen’s rights are treated with dignity, and for the foundation of a civil democratic state,” according to an English-language text from the NCB. The deal was signed late Friday in Cairo by SNC chief Burhan Ghalioun and the NCB’s Haytham Manna and “will be deposited as an official document with the Arab League” on January 1, said the statement.
NCB chief Abdel Azim said the agreement underscores the need for the opposition to close ranks in a bid to fend off any foreign intervention in the country.
“Opposition factions inside and outside Syria must unite their efforts,” he said. “A common political vision is needed to ensure a total change in Syria and achieve the goals of the peaceful revolution to avoid the dangers of foreign military intervention,” he added.
The SNC is a coalition of 230 members, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood and liberal figures who are determined to end Assad’s 11-year autocratic rule. Only 100 of its members live in Syria.
The NCB is an umbrella group of Arab nationalist figures, socialists, independents, Marxists and also comprises members of Syria’s minority Kurdish community. The coalition is staunchly opposed to any international military intervention. The agreement, posted on the Internet, calls for the protection of civilians in Syria. It also opposes foreign military intervention and says “the transition period starts with the fall of the regime and all its symbols.”
The pact voices support for the so-called dissident Free Syrian Army that has been battling regular army troops.
Meanwhile, the rebel Free Syrian Army is suspending operations against regime forces during the mission of monitors deployed in Syria to implement an Arab League peace plan, its chief said on Saturday. “We have decided to stop all the operations, except those for self-defence,” dissident Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad said in a telephone interview from his base in Turkey. His forces, which he says comprise some 20,000 deserters and swelling, have claimed responsibility for several deadly operations against the regular army. Asaad warned however that his men were ready to pick up arms against the Syrian regime forces at any moment, noting that “massacres are on the rise” in Syria.
“Resuming operations will depend on developments on the ground,” Asaad said. “Massacres are on the rise and we cannot stand it anymore. “Before, 20 people used to be killed each day. Now it is 50,” he added.
He also accused the Syrian authorities of failing to implement the terms of the Arab League peace plan and pursuing the crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.

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