‘No Libya 2.0’ - Syrian opposition
15 Nov, 2011 06:45
Syrian opposition leaders said that they want to prevent any military intervention in Syria and avoid a Libyan scenario. The statement comes during their visit to Moscow as pressure piles on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
However, they called for a UN resolution allowing UN observers on the ground in the country. “Protection of civilians is not a military intervention, but a deployment of UN ‘Blue Berets’ observers,” said the head of the Syrian opposition delegation, Burhan Ghalioun. The delegation met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday. They expressed hope that Russia will help mediate the crisis and said they will respect Russian interests in the county in case of the regime change.“We do want to prevent any military solution to the Syrian crisis to prevent a repetition of the Libyan scenario. We are in favor of a peaceful solution through negotiations,” Mr. Ghalioun told Rusiya Al-Yaum, RT’s Arabic sister channel.The Syrian opposition once again reiterated that they will continue demanding Bashar Assad to step down and will not hold talks with Bashar Assad and members of his family who have the “blood of Syrian people” on their hands. “We have said that we want to give a political solution to the crisis a chance. This is also the demand of the Syrian people. Therefore we are calling on those counties that wish peaceful solution to put pressure of the President to step down,” leader of the delegation said.At the talks, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on both sides to engage in constructive dialogue and find a peaceful resolution to the crisis. The official statement issued by the foreign ministry called on the Syrian opposition “to renounce violence as a means to attain political goals and to immediately start implementing the Arab League initiative to settle the internal Syrian crisis by launching a dialogue between the Syrian authorities and opposition."It also stressed “unacceptability of outside military intervention in the Syrian affairs."Earlier this week Russia lambasted the Arab League's decision to expel Syria, and is accusing NATO countries of inciting violence there.Syria's Arab League membership expires on Wednesday at an emergency meeting of the League, when the Arab leaders will officially turn their backs on their neighbor.Interestingly enough, the same move was made towards Libya shortly before NATO started to bomb it into the Stone Age with the help of the countries of the Persian Gulf.Patrick Hayes from the online magazine 'Spiked' is convinced that the Arab Leagues is in no position to decide Syria’s fate.“I think the Arab League is hardly representative of the Middle Eastern people. You have Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, other regimes have actually done similar things to what the Syrian government is doing now,” he told RT.”I think really they [[the Arab League]] are effectively pondering to Western interests because really America ino longer feels it can assert its authority in the region in the same way that it used to. So, now it hides behind groups like the Arab League, like the UN, like the IAEA, which we saw the other day, who are doing weapons inspection both in Syria and Iran at the moment. In order to try an effectively go behind the scenes, be dishonest, use these kind of organizations as puppet groups to voice the Western interests”.“And I think it is really problematic, ultimately shouldn’t be for the Arab League who aren’t representatives of the Middle Eastern people at all, to determine what happens in Syria. It should be for the Syrian people to get engaged in this struggle to overthrow the dictatorship they so choose. And anything, any external intervention be it UN observers or anyone else, who starts meddling in Syria is ultimately going to make this situation worse,” he stated.
Meanwhile, human rights activists claimed that at least 69 people have been killed in southern Syria on Monday. Most of them died in clashes between army deserters and government troops, Reuters reports.For the last eight months it has been the people of Syria that suffered the most because of the violence, as 3,500 people – including army servicemen and police reinforcements – are estimated to have lost their lives amid the unrest.Hisham Jaber from the Centre for Middle East Studies told RT that the Syrian regime should let international media into the country, so the world could see what is really happening on the ground there.“If Syria would open its doors to the mass media they will show the whole world that there are insurgents who are fighting not only the government, but the institution of the state and they are killing people.”