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Syrian opposition not ready for dialogue?

Russia vetoed the UN resolution on Syria, believing that the Syrians should resolve the crisis themselves without external involvement. But Middle East expert Edmund Ghareeb says the opposition might not be solid enough to start a dialogue.

"The [Assad] regime has recently been saying it is willing to implement the reforms, it wants to make changes, it wants to talk to the opposition, although there are some who question this and are suspicious of some of the statements of the regime in Syria,” he said.

The Syrian opposition, on the other hand, still have “significant points of difference between various groups,” even though they met again recently in Istanbul and established a new national council, Ghareeb continued.

“Some of them for example are very much opposed to any foreign intervention in Syria, and that is why they are opposed to UN intervention or UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions,” he explained.

He believes many people are very concerned that sanctions would be very costly not so much for the regime but for the people of Syria.

“It is the people of Syria who are going to end up paying a very heavy price for the sanctions,” he stressed.

And finally, there are some elements of the opposition who believe communication with the regime is unacceptable.

“They believe that they cannot communicate with the regime, they cannot enter into dialogue, and therefore they need foreign protection, because they say that the regime is continuing to repress them,” he concluded.

­Sabah al-Mukhtar, president of the Arab Lawyers Association, believes while Western powers are putting more pressure on the UNSC, Russia and China should to stay firm in their position.

“[The UN] may protect humanitarian purposes, might protect civilians, it might stop wars, but it is definitely not [there] to change the regime. And I think that the speech which was made in the Security Council that the Syrian opposition should understand that the UN is to protect them, not to change the regime, therefore there must be a discussion between the opposition who are absolutely right in standing against the dictatorship of the regime in Syria, but this is not the role of the UN to change the regime in Syria. And I think this is the right position,” Sabah al-Mukhtar told RT.