10/22/2013, 00.00
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Peace Conference on Syria at risk

The opposition wants the political elimination of Assad, but it is internally divided. Assad insists that much of the opposition does not represent the Syrian people and that he will participate in the upcoming elections. The "Friends of Syria" attempt to convince rebel groups to join the Geneva 2 . The conditions imposed by the Holy See for an effective peace conference

Damascus ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - The fate of Geneva 2, the peace conference on Syria to be held towards the end of November, is at risk due to the resistance posed by the rebels and Assad himself.

Several opposition groups want to boycott the dialogue because they demand the ouster of Bashar Assad from power as one of the conditions.
However, Damascus does not accept this precondition and Assad himself , in an interview with Lebanese television station Al- Mayadeen said he sees "no reason " why he should not run in the next election and maybe even be re-elected .

He also accused the opposition of being alien to the interests of the Syrian people .

" Which forces are taking part?" he asked "What relation do these forces have with the Syrian people? Do these forces represent the Syrian people, or do they represent the states that invented them? " .

In fact, the opposition is made ​​up of many groups, only partly made ​​up of Syrians. In addition to the Free Syrian Army, formed by army deserters, there are groups of jihadists from dozens of Islamic nations (Chechnya , Tunisia , Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia , Malaysia, Indonesia , Sudan ... ) . Added to these are the Syrian National Council made ​​up of Syrian exiles , supported by the European powers and the Middle East . All of them are fighting each other for who should represent the opposition in dialogue . In addition, on Syrian soil , there is fighting within the opposition between the "secular" Free Syrian Army and the radical Islamic groups that consist of groups linked to Al Qaeda. These , in the areas under their control impose Islamic laws and harsh treatment for the Christian and Shia (or Alawite ) minorities. These radical groups prefer holy war to the Peace Conference. In recent days, the Syrian National Council expressed its bewilderment at their participation.

Ministers from 11 countries of the "Friends of Syria" (United States, Britain , Egypt, France , Germany, Italy, Jordan , Qatar, Saudi Arabia , Turkey, United Arab Emirates ) are meeting in London to convince the Assad opponents to join together to participate in the conference, which they see as a political transition from the Assad regime .

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki -moon is among the strongest supporters of the peace conference . Even the Holy See has expressed its desire for a conference that includes all local, regional and international parts involved in the conflict, with no veto or exclusion. On 6th September , Msgr. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, meeting with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See stated a number of preconditions for the future of Syria to ensure the unity of the country, respect for minorities (including Christians ), full citizenship for all Syrians , regardless of religion , guaranteed freedom of religion, the separation of the opposition from Islamic extremism.


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