Covering some ground today....
It's PeriwinkleBack to Syria. It's going to be a long read.
Let's look at the "Opposition" meeting in Cairo,as mentioned previously here.
Opposition makes new push to unite.
The Arab League chief urged “exiled” Syrian opposition figures to unite at a meeting Monday as a new Western effort to force President Bashar Assad from power faltered.
More than one year into the Syrian revolt, the opposition is still hobbled by the infighting and fractiousness that have prevented the movement from gaining the kind of political traction it needs to present a credible alternative to Assad."There is an opportunity before the conference of Syrian opposition today that must be seized, and I say and repeat that this opportunity must not be wasted under any circumstance," Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told nearly 250 members of the Syrian opposition at the opening of the two-day conference in Cairo.
Nasser Al-Kidwa, deputy to U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, said that unity of purpose and vision was "not an option, but a necessity if the opposition wants to bolster its popular support and trust and increase international support."Unlike Libya's National Transitional Council, which brought together most factions fighting Moammar Gadhafi's regime and was quickly recognized by much of the international community, Syria's opposition has no leadership on the ground.
Syria's opposition has no leadership on the ground. I doubt that is truthful or correct. From my understanding the opposition on the ground, in Syria, wants nothing to do with this external opposition force. Keeping the above in mind this next sentence from the same article is nonsensical.
Regime opponents inside (Syria's opposition has no leadership on the ground?) and outside Syria are a diverse group, representing the country's ideological, sectarian and generational divide. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his hope that the Cairo meeting could contribute to the efforts of the U.N. special envoy and international community "to pave the way toward a meaningful transition in Syria."
"It is important that the Syrian opposition increase its cohesion and designate effective representative interlocutors," said a statement released by Ban's spokesperson.
Besides the conference in Cairo, opposition members , (not all opposition members) also plan to meet Russian officials later this month
Some Syrian opposition groups have rejected the plan, calling it ambiguous and a waste of time and vowing not to negotiate with Assad or members of his "murderous" regime.
However, the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria said Monday that the plan is the best way to ensure a political transition that avoids a full collapse of the Syrian state
Elaraby, who has held private meetings with Syrian opposition figures at the League's headquarters in the past, said the agreement did not meet Arab expectations because it did not specify a time frame for a "clear transition" as the League had called for.Regarding defections?
Although the defections are notable, Assad's regime has remained remarkably airtight.
Russia and some of the Opposition:
Russia has been meeting with members of the opposition all along.
Not the ones the western media usually presents to us as the ‘exiled’ leaders, but opposition that has long been present in Syria. I have mentioned these meetings in previous posts.
Russia has announced upcoming meetings with the opposition.
“Russia says it will hold talks with two Syrian opposition groups, officials from President Bashar Assad's government”
The first group headed by opposition leader Michel Kilowill will arrive later this week.
He added that another group with Abdul baset Sieda, the new head of the Syrian National Council, as its head will visit Moscow after July 10.
Abdul Baset Sieda ( this name appears spelled many different ways) is the Kurdish leader, who was recently given the SNC leadership, a move undertaken to appease a pivotal group amongst the diverse factions, that form the opposition. Many of whom had complained loudly about the Muslim Brotherhood’s stranglehold on the SNC. The Kurdish role in the Syrian crisis, has always been pivotal.
They have been the “wild card” for lack of a better term. With no chance the Christian or Allawite groups would support the Muslim Brotherhood killers, for obvious reason, the Kurds were the best group to woo.
Understanding this may give us insight into why the Kurdish leader is meeting in Moscow with Sergei Lavrov.
A good read, linked below, that explains the Kurdish role and why it is important. It is lengthy but I will include a couple of paragraphs
How the Syrian Opposition Can Court the Kurds
One of the missing links to a viable Syrian opposition is the Kurds. While comprising only 8% of Syria’s population, they represent the minority voice needed to help strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood-based Syrian National Council (SNC).Kurdish support has it's problems and is not assured. The man the Muslim Brotherhood (SNC) choose was a figure head, more then anything. He is not resident in Syria, but, in Europe.
This is why the SNC recently named a Kurd as its new leader while the Free Syrian Army is now calling on its "Kurdish brothers" to join forces against President Bashar al-Assad. Yet, if the SNC and its partners want to gain and sustain a Kurdish buy-in, then they will have to move beyond the anti-Assad rhetoric and focus on the source of the problem, regime alternatives the Kurds can trust. At minimum, this effort will require restructuring the SNC or creating a real umbrella opposition group that is inclusive of secular and locally-based leaders and de-linked from Turkey and its Kurdish problem. It is a mistake to think that Syrian Kurds are eschewing the SNC because of uncertainty about the future.
On the contrary, like Christian and Alawite groups, most are clearly aware of their political prospects under a Muslim Brotherhood-SNC influenced, post-Assad government. Repercussions of regime change on minority groups in the Middle East and the particular fallout from the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia have confirmed these fears. Sectarian conflict in Iraq is another clear reminder for Syrian minority groups of what is likely to emerge in a post-Assad state.
Therefore he is not trusted entirely by the Kurds resident in Syria
While meetings with some opposition members take place in Moscow, the NATO group "Friends of Syria" will be meeting in Paris. Russia will not be in attendance.
Meanwhile, Russia will not attend a Friends of Syria meeting in Paris on Friday which seeks to co-ordinate Western and Arab efforts to stop the violence in the country, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.Freethinker left this link; Washington's road to Iran goes through Syria (Op-Ed)
“Russia was invited. They made it known that they did not want to participate, which is not a surprise,” he told reporters. Russia, an ally of Syria, did not attend previous meetings of the group.
As mentioned there have been so many contradictory op-eds???
Geneva conference on Syria: A diplomatic victory for Moscow?
The Guardian being relatively reasonable- Military intervention in Syria would be disastrous for its people
Some of the comments are absurd. (love that word. Absurd)
Lovely work. From Damascus.
Fights break out at Syrian opposition meeting in Cairo
A meeting of Syria's splintered opposition in Cairo on Tuesday descended into scuffles and fistfights that will dishearten Western leaders calling for unity against Bashar al-Assad.
A Syrian Kurdish group quit the meeting, sparking mayhem and cries of "scandal, scandal" from some delegates. Women wept as men traded blows, and staff of the hotel used for the meeting hurriedly removed tables and chairs as the scuffles spread.
"The Kurds withdrew because the conference rejected an item that says the Kurdish people must be recognized," said Abdel Aziz Othman of the National Kurdish Council. "This is unfair and we will no longer accept to be marginalized."