Syrian gov’t slams opposition meeting in Paris, tilting towards Geneva one

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 The Syrian government slammed on Tuesday an opposition meeting held a day earlier in Paris, but seemed tilting towards another meeting held in Geneva on the same day.

Two meetings of the Syrian opposition groups have been held in two Western capitals with apparent similar titles, but with absolutely dissimilar ways.

The Syrian government has unleashed a vitriolic criticism of the Paris conference but showed a purported support for the Geneva one.

On Tuesday, Syria poked fun at the Paris meeting and said France has hosted the “council of puppets,” adding that France has summoned its media and political band to give the participants the new role it has written down for them.

In a statement, Syria’s official SANA news agency said Tuesday that France has hosted the meeting “to acquit the (French) regime from its humanitarian and legal accountability for the crimes of the Takfiri terrorism in Syria as it’s the basic supporter of it, as well as to mass the European support for its policies and increase the military assistance to the opposition.”

It charged that France has tried to disrupt the Geneva meeting of the opposition groups that oppose foreign intervention in Syria.

“The puppies of the West have asked for more weapons to al- Qaeda terrorists in Syria… However, France cannot make its own decision and must have the U.S. green light, something which is difficult to receive now from the White House which is currently negotiating with the Kremlin for the implementation of the Geneva statement,” said Sana statement.

Meanwhile, al-Thawra government newspaper said in an editorial that the participants were able to save time and shorten the distance between Paris and Geneva had they studied thoroughly the Syrian stand. “What concerns Syria doesn’t work on the Swiss time as they think, but rather on the Syrian time… Tables of dialogue and discussions on Syria have no place in the capitals of the West. .. The gates of Damascus are open” for those who want to take part in the national dialogue.

Geneva hosted a day earlier the “International Conference for Syrian democratic and civil state” with the participation of the country’s prominent National Coordination Body (NCB) in Diaspora and dignitaries from Arab and Western countries. Its stark title was the rejection of foreign intervention in Syria.

Observers and participants at the conference claimed that pressures have been practiced by France to disrupt the meeting and that around 60 personalities have denied access to Switzerland.

Haitham Manna, a prominent Syrian opposition figure and head of the NCB abroad, claimed that more than 60 personalities didn’t take part because the Swiss authorities hadn’t granted them visas under pressures from France.

Simultaneously, France hosted another opposition meeting that aimed to support the new umbrella Syrian National Coalition. During the meeting, which was attended by the three Syrian National Coalition vice-presidents, France appealed on countries to keep their promises of funding and submitting other aid to the Syrian opposition.

“We all want Syria to free itself and we want to avoid what we call chaos. If we don’t give the means to the Syrian people to go achieve their freedom, there is a risk and we all know it exists, that massacres and antagonisms amplify, and that extremism and terrorism prevail,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday, as he addressed representatives of some 50 nations that France is trying to coax into action on promises.

Last week, France said that there are no signs that the Syrian regime would fall soon, in a stark contrast with previous remarks that Assad will not be able to withstand for a long time. France was the spearhead of the anti-Syrian government trend and was the first to recognize the Syrian opposition coalition as a representative of the Syrian people.

Manna, in his opening speech in Geneva, emphasized his rejection of any foreign intervention in the Syrian internal affair. He spoke about those who developed the culture of violence and the press exaggeration, as well as about what he called “those who look for a regional and international leverage at the expense of the bloodshed in Syria,” in reference to those gathered in Paris, as their main goal is to garner support for an intervention in Syria to topple the Assad administration by force.

According to observers, Manna represents the third option. He is a go-between who tries to work out an agreement between the government and the armed opposition and promote dialogue as a step for stopping the bloodshed and building the future of Syria.

While the divided opposition fail to be a convincing substitute to the recent regime, armed radical militia affiliated with al- Qaida have become the striking power in the fight against the government, deepening the conviction that the long-standing anti- regime movement, which has firstly called for freedom, has now been hijacked by those radicals.

Last week, the Syrian Interior Ministry has called on all the broad-based opposition political forces, and those who are desirous of taking part in the national dialogue, to come back to Syria and pledged to offer all facilities and to cut loose all legal pursuit against them

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