World No agenda for Syria opposition talks: Egypt diplomat

No agenda for Syria opposition talks: Egypt diplomat


President  Bashar al-Assad of Syria
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria

(AA) – There is no pre-set agenda for a Syrian opposition conference scheduled to take place sometime in April in capital Cairo, an Egyptian diplomat has said.

The Egyptian diplomat, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency on Monday that Egypt is “working hard to unite Syrian political factions and is adamant that its efforts are guided by the views of patriotic Syrians, without interference [from Egypt] or external parties.”

The diplomat’s remarks come two days after a Syrian opposition figure claimed that a proposal for allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power for two more years is on the agenda.

“Several figures and political forces have a vested interest maintaining the fragmentation of the Syrian opposition, and have worked to thwart any efforts to unite them,” the Egyptian diplomat said.

He went on to note that these figures have been “spreading rumors about Egypt’s role in these negotiations and the role of opposition factions working under the auspices of Egypt to reach a shared vision on resolving the crisis in Syria.”

The Syrian opposition coalition has yet to officially announce its participation in the Cairo conference. But in the event it declines the invitation, several of its members will participate in their personal capacity, according to previous statements they’ve made.

On Saturday, prominent Syrian opposition leader Bassam al-Malik told AA that two points are expected to be tackled during the Cairo conference: that Assad remains in power for two years, and for a transitional authority to manage state affairs provided that early presidential elections are held after the expiry of the two-year period.

He added that the opposition would also discuss the drafting of an interim constitution to regulate the transitional period.

Al-Malik said the Syrian opposition would likely head to Moscow for a meeting on means of putting an end to the Syrian crisis after wrapping up the meeting in Cairo.

He also referred to joint Egyptian-Russian efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement to the Syrian crisis.

The Cairo meeting is expected to be held on April 24 and 25, according to Haitham Manaa, a member of the Syrian opposition coalition.

Syria’s civil conflict, which entered its fifth year, has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions of others displaced both internally and externally.

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