Syrian opposition leaders are holding talks in Istanbul, where they will try to expand the group, elect a new president and discuss whether to attend an international conference aimed at resolving the conflict at home.
We cannot have Assad who has killed over 80,000 people as part of the transitional period, he is beyond a serial killer and he must be held in court and tried for all the crimes he has committed.
Russia says the Syrian government has agreed, in principle, to attend a peace summit in Geneva next month. But opposition leaders have expressed doubts about the government’s commitment to talks.
On Thursday, the former president of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Moaz al-Khatib, proposed a detailed political transition plan.
It is the first such plan that offers President Bashar al-Assad a way out.
Under Khatib’s proposal, al-Assad would step down 20 days after an agreement is reached.
He would be allowed to leave Syria along with close allies and their families.
And what is left of his cabinet would have 100 days to hand power over to a transitional government.
To discuss the latest developments, Inside Syria, with presenter Stephen Cole, is joined by guests: Khaled Saleh, the head of the media office of the SNC; Ammar Waqqaf, a Syrian political activist; and Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of modern and contemporary history of the Middle East at Qatar University.
“I don’t think the opposition figures are in a very good position to have any preconditions to have serious round of talks … from the Syrian people’s point of view, especially those who have supported the government in the past two years and three months, they will not accept any political change enforced on them by means of some groups of Syrians carrying weapons and seeking support from the outside world.”
– Ammar Waqqaf, Syrian political activist