Turkish FM Urges Strong, United Syrian Opposition

Posted July 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has urged Syria's opposition to remain united on the shared goal of a free and democratic country, warning that a “weak and disorganized” opposition would only benefit President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Speaking Monday to opposition members gathered in Cairo for a conference hosted by the Arab League, Davutoglu said the Syrian government is making a futile attempt to “reverse the course of history.”

“There will be a transition and change in Syria. It is inevitable, and there will be a new administration and democratic regime in Syria eventually. It must be clear that only the Syrian people are to decide about the future of any agreement on their own country.”

Davutoglu said the role of the international community is to provide support for a Syrian-led transition process. He also said there will be a Friends of Syria meeting this Friday in Paris with about 100 countries and organizations in attendance.

The conference Monday follows the rejection by Syrian opposition groups of a United Nations-backed plan for a political transition.

An international conference in Geneva on Saturday accepted a watered-down version of U.N. envoy Kofi Annan's plan for the creation of a transitional government in Syria. At Russia's insistence, the compromise agreement left open the possibility of Mr. Assad being a part of the interim administration.

Opposition members called the plan “ambiguous” and “a farce” while ruling out any possibility of sharing power with Mr. Assad.