Report: Saudi Plans Pan-Opposition Meet on Syria after Assad

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Saudi Arabia wants to bring together the many branches of war-torn Syria's armed and political opposition to discuss what to do after the regime's downfall, opposition sources said Thursday.

The Sunni-ruled kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a main backer of forces fighting to topple Syria's President Bashar Assad, while its Shiite-dominated rival Iran backs him.

"In mid-June, Saudi leaders want to unite all -- or a vast majority -- of Syrian political and military opponents to prepare" for the period after Assad, said Haytham Manna, a veteran opposition figure.

This meeting would "not include the jihadists of (Al-Qaida's Syria affiliate) Al-Nusra Front and of the Islamic State group," he told AFP by telephone.

Manna heads the "Cairo conference," a gathering of opposition figures living in Syria and abroad.

He said Saudi Arabia had tentatively organized its pan-opposition meeting for May 3, but was forced to abandon the idea due to differences among opposition groups.

But closer ties between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey -- previously competing for influence over Syria's rebels -- had led to a string of recent victories for opposition fighters, said Manna.

A representative from the opposition National Coalition, which is officially recognized by much of the international community, told AFP a date was yet to be set for the conference.

"All of the political and military opposition, inside and outside Syria, would take part," the representative said.

"The objective would be to find common points among the different opposition groups and to come up with a road map for the transitional period after Assad's fall," added the official.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister told AFP he had no information on the topic.

Comments 2
Thumb Mystic 07 May 2015, 17:37

Careful Wahabis, first you have to win. Lol Naharnet, you claim to be a neutral newspaper yet you release a picture such as this above, clearly proves your pro takfiri sentiments.

Missing 07 May 2015, 17:59

The only reason they did not win is that they have been starved of weapon. When Turkey turned on the spigot little bit, Idlib and Jisr Al-shoghur fell. Now the spigot is off again.