Syria opposition may announce council names this week

Senior Syrian opposition figures expect to finish talks this week on nominating a broad-based council to support the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, organisers said on Tuesday.

Syria opposition may announce council names this week

Senior Syrian opposition figures expect to finish talks this week on nominating a broad-based council to support the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, organisers said on Tuesday.

They say one main purpose of forming such a council would be to allay concerns of a power vacuum if Assad should be toppled by the ongoing unrest in the country.

"The discussions are focusing on moving away from quotas toward a more merit-based council," Professor Wael Merza, a political scientist based in the Gulf, told Reuters after a second day of talks ended early in the Turkish capital

"We expect to reach consensus on the list of names by the end of this week," he said.

Another delegate, who declined to be named, said participants are dealing with the delicate issue of the safety of would-be council members from inside Syria.

Assad's forces have killed 2,000 people, including activists and protest leaders, and jailed thousands during the five-month uprising, activists and other sources estimate.

The council would speak for dissidents in exile and activists on the ground, opposition figures said.

Western governments, which have stepped up sanctions on Assad in reaction to his crackdown on protesters, privately have expressed frustration with opposition's lack of unity.

At a meeting with anti-Assad Syrian activists in Washington this month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged them to work toward a "unified vision" for Syria.

Reuters

Last Mod: 22 Ağustos 2011, 12:54
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