The tragedy of the Syrian opposition

Riad Nasan Agha

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The Syrian political opposition has reached a dire state of weakness and division. It runs the risk of falling into the entanglements of international relations, and the political process has entered such a stalemate that it now clings to the illusion of the constitutional committee’s ability to find a solution as a last resort.

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The harsh conditions suffered by our people in exile and in host countries have worsened, and millions of displaced Syrians now suffer from disenfranchisement and extreme poverty, without the most basic of living conditions. Those remaining in the Syrian territory are also suffering from the collapse of the Syrian economy, the lack of security, the weakened state structure, and the emergence of a class of people who have gotten rich off the endless wars and who now control what remains of Syria's wealth.

The current opposition groups have been unable to find a way out of this quagmire, on the contrary, many of their forces have sunk into it themselves. Some opposition groups have come to be viewed as a burden on the people, who now reject them in favor of an alternative, a stronger more vital body that can renew the people’s lost spirit, reaffirm their presence on the political scene, and take on the responsibilities such a party is entrusted with.

And this body that we seek to create is embodied in the youth who should bear the banner, and who should take the lead in charting the course of Syria in the future, supported by all loyal patriotic forces.

The quest for stability in our region can only be achieved through healing the wounds of Syria, so that our ship can weather the storms of international conflicts to reach the shore of security and stability. Reliving the past, imposing it on the people, and making it the future of Syria, threatens a new eruption of oppression, injustice and poverty that bubbles beneath the surface. In this case, any attempt to heal the wound will fail.

The Syrian people's insistence on implementing International Resolution No. 2254 according to a specific sequence that starts with drafting a new constitution and calls for fair elections under UN supervision, holds the key to a possible solution that guarantees more security and stability in the future. Such a solution does not exclude or abuse the rights of any of the groups who make up the Syrian people.

We call on the youth of Syria and all patriotic forces to build a national body free from the diseases of the opposition, which qualifies as chronic diseases after nearly ten years of chaos. We call upon everyone to transcend personal, ethnic, racial and sectarian interests in order to save a wounded nation that is reeling today. Its children are ready to heal it, before it is too late. We do not want any party to be excluded or canceled by another. Let true citizenship be the basis and reference for all Syrians above every other affiliation or loyalty of interests.

We do not accept that the opposition’s position be subject to influence by any regional or international powers, and we value its assistance to our people and its standing with our cause. We respect its sovereignty in orientations and objectives. But it must excuse us when we are loyal to our cause and exclude it from any conflicts that may affect the integrity of the desired political solution path. We are optimistic about the renewed support of the international community to bring an end to international military control over Syria and to turning it into areas of shared foreign influence. We are determined to restore Syria's independence and its sovereignty over its entire territory. We are committed to the unity of its people and are optimistic about its ability to rise and build a civil, democratic, free and independent state.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, Emirati publication al-Ittihad.

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