Syria Opposition Meeting in Damascus Stirs Criticism

Damascus is witnessing an independent, open national meeting for consultations over the current situation in Syria and how to shift peacefully to a democratic, civil state.

The meeting was called for by a number of Syrian oppositionists, intellectuals and citizens, who do not belong to any party or coalition.

The meeting discusses 1- the current situation in Syria…2- how to shift to a democratic, civil state…3- the role of the Syrian elites in the shift process.

Opinions differed on that meeting. Some oppositionists refused to join it because they believe it is an attempt to deceive the revolution.

Others believe it is an attempt to improve the image of the regime, which lost legitimacy.

Harsh criticisms were posted in Facebook.

Those criticisms urged the opposition activist Loay Hussein to confirm that the recommendations of that meeting express the will of the participants and that there is no internal or external agenda for the meeting, and that it is completely independent and not sponsored by the Syrian government or any other side and that no government representative attends the meeting and that the meeting is fully funded by the participants, who are independent, and that the participants do not know one another and that the meeting does not seek to offer an answer for the national dialog promoted by the regime.

Hussein also emphasized that the meeting is not a dialog between two sides and that the participants are brave enough to declare what they feel.

Fayez Sara, another Syrian oppositionist who supports the meeting, says some want the Damascus meeting to fail.

He confirmed that the meeting will discuss the crisis in Syria and how it would affect the Syrian nation, their homeland and their lives.

He said social, economic and cultural personalities are attending the meeting and those personalities do not belong to any party and most of them are famous in the Syrian opposition.

He also said media coverage is allowed for the meeting.

He added that no government representatives are attending the meeting.

Yassin Haj Saleh, a famous Syrian opposition figure, refused to join the meeting like several other oppositionists.

Opposition figures – who are threatened to be detained by the Syrian authorities – are also expected not to attend the meeting…such as Suheir al Atassi and Razan Zaytouna (two female activists).

Many others  – who speak to foreign media about the situations in Syria and who are believed to be moving and influencing the protests in the Syrian streets – will not attend the meeting.