Cordoba's opposition meeting : Common goals, different actions
Cordoba's opposition meeting : Common goals, different actions
News   /   Syrian Crisis

Several factions of the Syrian opposition, meeting together for the first time, called for a new coalition but didn't reach agreement on who should attend peace talks later this month, or whether they would attend at all.

Opposition Coalition, has been plagued by bickering. It postponed a decision on whether to attend Geneva-2 until next week after nearly a quarter of its 121 members threatened to resign following the re-election of its Saudi-backed leader, Ahmad al-Jarba.

Diplomats hoped they could bring a more comprehensive group together at Friday’s meeting in .

A spokesman for the meeting "Yahya al-Aridi" said a final communique from the meeting proposes setting up a committee to coordinate opposition groups, with the eventual goal of holding a national conference attended by about 1,000 people, adding that "that is the endeavor: to focus on finding people, who have differences, but at the same time they have one common goal"

He added that the new committee would not be a political body, suggesting it would not replace the opposition coalition, which Western and Arab countries see as the official opposition.

The communique, part of it seen by Reuters, repeated the opposition’s longstanding condition that Geneva-2 should create a transitional authority for Syria in which al-Assad plays no role. Damascus says the president will remain in control.

The meeting saw National Coalition members sit down for the first time with opposition figures who still reside in Damascus and call for reforms. Also in Cordoba were members of Islamist groups, a section of the armed opposition that some militants figures say needs to be included to ensure broad consensus.

However, two major groups did not officially attend: the main internal opposition body known as the National Coordinating Body, and the so called Islamist alliance known as the Islamic Front.

Aridi said that allies of the Islamic Front were included: "People who know them, who have relations with them and who sympathize with them. Therefore it is a wide spectrum of representation".

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