The Coalition of the Syrian opposition announced Saturday, Feb. 23 that it was suspending its participation in several meetings abroad to denounce the “international silence on the crimes” committed by the regime against the population. This announcement comes as the conflict, which has claimed more than 70 000 deaths in the United Nations is about to enter its third year, with no end in sight.
The opposition said in a statement it was suspending its participation in the next meeting of the Friends of the Syrian people, scheduled for February 28 in Rome, as well as his visits to Russia, a faithful ally of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and United States. Judging “shameful” attitude of the international community, the Coalition said it equated “the international silence on the crimes committed daily against our people to participate in the killing” in Syria. “We would especially like the Russian leaders accountable ethically and politically, as they continue to support the regime by force of arms.”
“PROTECT THE SYRIAN A BOUCHER”
The leader of the Coalition, Ahmed Moaz Al-Khatib, was expected in the coming weeks in Moscow. He was also invited to travel to Washington by the Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, in a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian people. This group brings together Western and Arab countries opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, has recognized the Coalition as the “sole legitimate representative” of the Syrian people. “We can not continue to listen to statements that are not accompanied by actions. (…) The world has the responsibility to protect [the Syrians] of a butcher,” said the spokesman for the Coalition Walid al-Bunni, France 24.
The Syrian opposition has on several occasions asked the international community to provide weapons to rebels fighting the regime, but Mr Bunni does not refer clearly to this question during the interview. Gathered since Thursday in Cairo, the opposition has also announced Friday his intention to form a government to manage the rebel-controlled territories. Mr. Bunni said the Coalition would meet on March 2 in Istanbul, Turkey, to decide on the composition of this “interim” cabinet and choose its leader “outside members of the Coalition.” “We need a government of technocrats,” he said at a press conference.