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The Syrian National Council (SNC), the main component of Syria’s opposition umbrella organization known as the Syrian National Coalition, reaffirmed yesterday it will not attend the planned Geneva-2 peace conference.
The statement reiterates an earlier announcement by SNC president George Sabra in October that the group had taken a “firm decision” not to attend the talks.
Sabra had also said the SNC would withdraw from the National Coalition if it decided to attend.
The group has long insisted it refuses to negotiate until President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime exits power.
Sabra’s SNC said in a statement posted in Arabic on its Facebook page:
The SNC’s General Secretariat met in the city of Istanbul throughout January 3 and 4, 2014, to discuss issues of concern to the Syrian Revolution as well as the Syria situation in general.
On its agenda was a set of important matters awaiting fitting decisions.
The General Secretariat heard reports about the internal situation on the ground and its evolution in light of the surrounding circumstances.
The international and regional situation and its fallouts on the Revolution’s course were appraised as well.
In addition, the General Secretariat took stock of the report by the SNC’s Executive Office on its international activities and contacts during the previous phase and the ensuing assessments of the contacts.
In light of the said givens, and regarding attendance of the Geneva-2 conference, the General Secretariat discussed the matter from all angles.
And after weighing up the political, military and humanitarian relief situation and hearing special and detailed reports about the regional and international political visits and gatherings, it emerged that all the efforts exerted by the Opposition (i.e. both the Syrian National Council and the Syrian National Coalition) to overcome the hurdles blocking convocation of the conference failed to yield positive results because the regime and its allies did not fully commit to the spirit and provisions of Geneva-1 and the regime failed to implement any of them.
On the contrary, they added a new task to Geneva-2, which they dubbed “Fighting Terrorism” -- with the regime persisting in its use of such war tactics as partial sieges, starvation, random killings by barrel-bomb attacks and the occupation of Syrian lands by sectarian militias summoned by the regime from beyond the border without a reaction from Arab or international societies.
In the end, the SNC’s General Secretariat did not find any realistic development or clear and specific agenda ensuring the conference’s success in achieving the Syrian Revolution’s objectives, which would have it revise its earlier decision.
Hence, it decided to reiterate and reaffirm its previous decision to stay away from the Geneva-2 conference under the present conditions…