by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
January 18, 2014 (TSR) – The so-called Syrian National Coalition, the Turkey-based foreign-backed group that opposes the Syrian government, has finally agreed to take part in the UN-sponsored Geneva II talks on Syria due to begin next week in Switzerland.
The development was announced Saturday by the coalition’s media office amid deep divisions with the coalition members and increasing pressure from their Western backers and sponsors.
“Any person who seeks preconditions or mistakes their dreams for reality is leading to the failure of the Geneva conference before it even starts,” Syrian state media quoted a foreign ministry source as saying.
The statement came after the Sunday meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria, a grouping of nations that back the militant and terrorist groups in Syria, which the government terms the “Enemies of Syria”.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, the president of Syria’s opposition National Coalition Ahmed Jarba said: “We all agreed that there is no future for Bashar al-Assad and his family in Syria.”
“His departure is inevitable,” he claimed.
A new Syrian opposition psywarfare with a fake orphan photo being used for online disinformation also emerged and busted.
“I believe as we begin to get to Geneva… that it will become clear there is no political solution whatsoever if Assad is not discussing a transition and if he thinks he is going to be part of that future. It is not going to happen,” Kerry claimed on Friday in a news conference following meetings with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts.
“We are also not out of options with respect to what we may be able to do to increase the pressure and further change the calculus,” he added.
Kerry’s remarks came as Syrian opposition groups vote on whether to participate in the conference.
The Syrian government has said it will attend the peace talks but that Assad’s departure from office is not on the table.
“We consider any statement, opinion or announcement before the Geneva conference to be worthless, desperate attempts by certain people to hide the defeats of their gang on the ground,” state media quoted the foreign ministry source as saying.
“Syria pays no attention to those outside the country who speak in the name of the Syrian people, whether they are Arabs or Westerners,” the source added.
“The Syrian people are the only ones who can decide what they want and who can choose their leaders and the nature of their state.”
The long-delayed Geneva II Conference is to be held January 22 in the town of Montreux instead of Geneva as originally planned with representatives from selected foreign governments, foreign-backed opposition leader and representatives from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Out of around 73 Syrian National Coalition members who voted, 58 backed the motion to attend and 14 voted against it. Another 44 members had already withdrawn from the vote.
The Geneva II conference is widely viewed as an opportunity to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. The UN has set January 22, 2014, as the date for the talks.
The foreign-sponsored insurgency in Syria began in March 2011. According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest.
The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has become one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.