Russia proposes formation of Syrian transitional government

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A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad adorns a wall as the vehicle of United Nations special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura leaves his hotel on November 9, 2014 in the capital Damascus. De Mistura is expected to meet Bashar al-Assad to relaunch peace efforts in the country ravaged by close to four years of civil war. AFP/Louai Beshara

Published Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Alongside the plan by the United Nations (UN) envoy to Damascus to freeze the conflict in Aleppo in order to prevent the city from falling into the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Moscow and Cairo are preparing for a conference between the Syrian regime and the opposition in the hope of bringing them together in a transitional government that “fights terrorism.”

It is almost confirmed that Russia will invite the Syrian government and part of the Syrian opposition to a conference in Moscow entitled Moscow I instead of the Geneva III conference. According to news coming out of Moscow, the plan – prepared in coordination between the Russian Foreign Ministry, Egyptian authorities and the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura – calls for inviting two delegations for a dialogue in the Russian capital.

The first is the Syrian government delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Walid al-Muallem. The second delegation will include opposition figures such as former head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, head of the People’s Will Party, former Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, a number of figures who left the Coalition, the National Coordination Committee and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party headed by Saleh Muslim whose units are fighting ISIS in northern and eastern Syria.

According to Russian and UN sources, the agenda of the conference to be held between the two sides includes establishing a transitional Syrian government with extensive powers while maintaining Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authority over the army and security institutions. The government is to include representatives of the regime and opposition figures, such as Khatib and Jamil, and to be led by an “unprovocative” figure. The mission of the government will include creating a constituent body, either elected or appointed, that will radically amend the Syrian constitution. About two years after establishing the transitional government, parliamentary elections can take place followed by a presidential election that Assad can run in.

The Russians and the Egyptians are counting on the fact that the goal of this initiative is to push the political process forward. They believe that fighting terrorism is currently a priority in Syria and that the success of this process requires mobilizing the greatest possible number of national forces to confront ISIS, al-Nusra Front and other al-Qaida-style organizations.

According to the sources of the parties involved in preparing for the Moscow 1 conference, stopping the progress of terrorist forces in Syria must be done quickly without waiting for the results of the air strikes by the Western Coalition. Russian and Egyptian officials believe it is necessary to preserve the structure of the Syrian army which will eventually accommodate thousands of officers and soldiers who fled or who failed to report to duty at their bases or defectors who did not join al-Qaeda-style organizations. The army is to also accept in its ranks fighters who will take part in fighting ISIS, al-Nusra and other such organizations.

Moscow and Cairo contacted a number of opposition political and partisan figures and received delegations from inside and outside Syria, including tribal delegations that represent major clans in northern and eastern Syria. Russia and Egypt want to ensure support for this dialogue by the largest possible number of Syrians.

UN sources believe that Assad will accept this initiative but there is a need to convince his ally Iran. Syrian sources, however, deny that, stressing that dialogue between Moscow and Damascus in this regard has not reached a final conclusion yet.

(Al-Akhbar)

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Comments

This is a great proposal bringing together the Syrian government, current official opposition and banned opposition groupings/parties that support a secular Syria ensuring Muslims, Christians, Women, Druze, Kurds etc freedom of religion and equality! Those invited are in joint agreement in their fight against the Islamic extremists that are destroying Syria and completely funded by Qatar, Saudia Arabia and promoted as the ‘moderate opposition’ e.g. (FSA when really they are jihadists) by the biased Western media.

Also the “National Coalition for Syrian Revoliutionary and Opposition Forces” says it wants reform, but Assad's Government has delivered many reforms democratically for example through the Syrian Constitutional Referendum 2012, which removed statements that the “Ba'ath Party leads the state and society”, shortening presidential term, change in economics, private property is protected, equal rights for all, unbanning certain opposition parties, givien elected official opposition members important Ministerial roles in Government and lots more! President Assad is supported by the majority of Syrians and the current Government need to stay in power for a more stabile Middle East. Though I believe there needs to be MORE/NEW reforms and a transitional government could bring this progress! I hope Russia and Egypt can convince cooperation between the different parties, the voters that this is a great idea and other non Wahhabi linked/against foreign intervention groups join the talks including Christian & Druze parties etc.

Written by a Pro-Syrian supporter, from Ireland!

That sounds ideal. Yet Turkey, Qatar, Iran and the USA will object.
Yet there are ways to make them change their mind.
Turkey:
Egypt and Saudi Arabia may offer to Turkey to restore commercial and diplomatic relation. Turkey is desperate to keep its economy strong and need the Arab market
USA:
Saudi Arabia may convince the USA that they support this initiative to stop ISIS
Qatar:
It will be more difficult to make Qatar accept the plan but Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries have a leverage on Qatar. In addition if the FIFA corruption investigation is published, Qatar may get a humiliating blow.
Iran:
Iran could easily be convinced as the plan does not call for the withdrawal of Bashar Al Assad and is garanteed by Russia.

USA could be persuaded to not oppose since this would temporarily sideline Assad and allow him to run for president later when he might lose.

wow! you think the CORRUPT pimps of FIFA will "deal a huniliating blow" to their fat MILKING COW?
which planet do you live on?

we support any action that stop the goons ideology and listens to Suriyan people.

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