Syrian Opposition Coalition Issues Proposal for Peaceful Transition
Plan Would End Violence
In a critical step toward finding a peaceful solution in Syria, the Syrian Opposition Coalition presented its proposal for a political settlement at the Geneva peace talks on Wednesday. The introduction of the Statement of Basic Principles comes after more than ten days of circuitous meetings in which the political representatives of dictator Bashar al-Assad refused to discuss any of the core issues that would lead to transition and stop the violence.
The proposal calls for a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive power to take the place of the regime and shepherd Syria to a constitutional democracy with a freely elected government in accordance with international law, the Geneva Communique, and UN Security Council Resolutions. Under the proposal, the TGB -- formed by both parties on the basis of mutual consent -- would have full control over the institutions of government, including the Syrian army and intelligence apparatus.
President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Ahmad Jarba said, “The regime is required to abide by international legal decisions, Security Council resolutions and humanitarian law to alleviate the suffering of Syrian civilians. The Transitional Governing Body is the only legitimate entity which expresses a vision of a sovereign and independent Syrian state, and outlines a neutral political transition as stipulated in articles 16 and 17 of Security Council Resolution 2118.”
The Statement of Basic Principles includes:
- A political solution will be agreed upon by the two Syrian parties participating in the Geneva 2 peace conference, which will be considered an interim constitutional declaration.
- The Transitional Governing Body will preserve the sovereignty and independence of the Syrian state and the full unity and territorial integrity of Syria.
- The Transitional Governing Body will take whatever decisions and steps are necessary to ensure the withdrawal of all external military groups and foreign fighters from the entire territory of Syria.
- The Transitional Governing Body will implement, steer, and preside over an agreement to bring an end to violence in all its forms, and whereby it will take immediate steps to end armed violence, with a view to protecting civilians and achieving national stability, in the presence of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations.
- The continuity of state institutions, the employment of properly qualified state employees, and public services and institutions must be preserved.
- The Transitional Governing Body will have full authority to allow immediate and full humanitarian access throughout the territory of Syria to international humanitarian organisations.
- The Transitional Governing Body will have the full power and authority to obtain lists of the names of all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, prisoners arrested for participating in peaceful protest, and other detainees, to provide for their release.
- The Transitional Governing Body will guarantee the full participation and complete equality of Syrian women, in all rights and responsibilities.
- The Transitional Governing Body will guarantee the right of equal citizenship for all Syrians without discrimination on the basis of their gender, religion, sect, ethnic origin, political affiliation or social status. The delegation of the Syrian Opposition Coalition will pursue the negotiating process to implement in full the Geneva Communique, including the important principles of ending violence and combating terror, but in order to do so both legally and practically, the establishment of the Transitional Governing Body, by mutual consent of both sides, is necessary and required. We believe the Statement of Basic Principles serves not only the parties to these negotiations, but also the full interests and aspirations of all Syrians.