The Syrian main opposition coalition has come to a consensus, on the ninth day of inconclusive talks in İstanbul, about admitting 43 new members to the 60-member bloc, with some representatives from the liberal bloc, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and activists.
Members of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces have struggled to decide on the admission of members from the liberal bloc, led by veteran opposition figure Michel Kilo, for the past nine days. Arab and Western countries have monitored the talks and urged the coalition members to include new members to the bloc by sorting out their divisions.
As a result of these efforts, the coalition has announced that it has made a decision to include 14 members from Kilo's liberal bloc, known as the “Democratic List.” Although at the beginning of the talks Kilo's bloc demanded that 22 of its members be represented in the coalition, the veteran opposition figure voiced his approval of the result, describing it as “positive.”
Speaking to reporters as he left the İstanbul hotel early on Friday, Kilo said the talks have concluded positively with the different political groups negotiating on the expansion, but added that the talks were tough at times. Noting that all groups in the coalition worked well and only differed in their political views, Kilo said they aimed to open a new page as a “unified democratic, Islamic and national bloc,” the Anatolia news agency reported.
The coalition is mainly controlled by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood and a faction loyal to Mustafa al-Sabbagh. Senior sources told Reuters that the liberal bloc will try to expand their number further at a June meeting of the coalition.
The coalition also agreed “in principle” to admit another 14 members of activist groups from inside Syria and 15 members linked to the FSA. The opposition bloc said they were planning to gather together at another meeting on June 12 to decide on those 29 names.
The acting president of the coalition, George Sabra, also sounded optimistic about the expansion results. "The coalition has succeeded in undergoing the expansion," he was reported as saying by Reuters. Sabra, who spoke to the press on Friday, said the number of females has increased to 12 with the addition of eight new coalition members.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2013, 12:21