My “comrades in arms” and I have just concluded our first conference for the Syrian opposition groups in the US. The conference was organized by the Syrian National Council in the US, in cooperation with the Ahrar Movement and the Syrian National Council in Canada. It featured an amazing assortment of representatives of political currents and views, including representatives of the Syrian internal opposition groups, who have taken a tremendous risk by accepting to take part in such an event.Emphasis mine. This is great news, especially this little tidbit.
The last day, Sunday, also featured a most wonderful and inspiring phone conference with the recently freed Damascus Spring dissidents: Riad Seif, Walid al Bunni, Fawaz Tillo and Habeeb Issa, as well as the sublime spark behind the Atassy Forum Mrs. Suheir Atassy.
Despite the fact that discussion tended to veer into the usual old polemics and diatribe against the regime, a sense of focus and purpose prevailed throughout the two-day conference, and the concluding statement did a pretty decent job in summarizing the main points of agreements between the various groups, which seem quite capable of paving pave the way for the eventual establishment of an actual opposition platform or current in the very near future.
These points included for the very first time a clear and an unequivocal legitimization by the internal opposition groups of the activities of their external counterparts, as well as a clear cut call for more coordination between all opposition movements wherever they happen to be. Considering the importance of the people taking place in the conference and the fact that they did represent all strands of the Syrian political spectrum, reaching such an agreement is by no means a small feat. Indeed, the chasm of the inside/outside dichotomy seems to have finally been traversed - A development that could indeed set the grounds for the adoption of more practical and dynamic measures in the work of the Syria national opposition in the future.The criticism of most external opposition groups is that they have little or no support from Syrians inside Syria. If a bridge has been made between external and internal opposition that can only strengthen all parties involved.