Posted by Joshua on Saturday, June 4th, 2011
The Final Declaration of the Syria Conference for Change
Today, Syria is witnessing the most difficult and painful days; however, it is also witnessing the birth of a new dawn of freedom quenched by the blood and sacrifice of the Syrian youth demonstrating peacefully in the ground. This puts the burden of urgent action on the shoulders of all Syrians, living all over the world, to work along side their brothers and sisters in and outside Syria to build a new future for their country.
Therefore, a number of patriotic Syrians, from all different backgrounds, came together and called for the Syria Conference for Change. Invitations were sent to a wide variety of political and populist Syrian activists with the purpose of stopping the blood shed of our people and to take a decisive stand towards the events in their homeland and towards the insistence of the oppressive regime on using the military and security forces in rejecting the just demands of the people of freedom and democracy.
The Syria Conference for Change took place in Antalya, Turkey, May 31 – June 3, 2011, in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution and to search for solutions that would save Syria from oppression and place it on the road to freedom and dignity. As such, participants agreed to the following:
1- Participants are committed to the demands of the Syrian people in calling on the Syrian president to step down, in demanding the toppling of the regime, and in supporting the great, peaceful revolution of the Syrian people towards freedom and dignity.
2-Participants call on president Bashar al-Assad to resign immediately from all of his duties and positions and to hand over authority to his vice-president in accordance with constitutional procedures until the election of a transitional council which will draft and implement a new Syrian constitution that shall call for free and transparent parliamentary and presidential elections within a period not to exceed one year from the resignation of president Bashar al-Assad.
3- Participants assert their continuous support of the Syrian revolution until it achieves its objectives while emphasizing peace, patriotism, the unity of Syrian soil, the unequivocal rejection of foreign military intervention and national unity of Syrian revolution – one that does not represent any partisan direction nor does it target any particular group of Syrian society.
4- Participants affirm that the Syrian people are of many ethnicities, Arab, Kurd, Caldean, Assyrian, Syriac, Turkmen, Chechen, Armenian and others. The conference establishes the legitimate and equal rights of all under a new Syrian constitution based on national unity, civil state and a pluralistic, parliamentary, and democratic regime.
5- Participants commit to exert all efforts towards achieving a democratic future of Syria which respects human rights and protects freedom for all Syrians, including the freedom of belief, expression and practice of religion, under a civil state based on the separation of legislative, judicial and executive powers, while adopting democracy and the ballot box as the sole medium of governance.
6- Participants are committed to the hard and serious missions of ensuring economic prosperity, scientific and cultural advancements under the umbrella of justice, peace and security.
7- Participants call on all Arabs, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Arab League and the International Community to take legal and ethical responsibility in order to stop the violation of human rights and crimes against humanity committed against unarmed civilians, and to support the ambition of the Syrian people of freedom and democracy.
The conference concluded with the election of a follow up consultative body through a slate-vote.Voting lists were selected by a group of participants. The consultative body shall appoint an implementation body which, in turn, will establish and implement an action plan to coordinate all activities supporting the Syrian revolution for a peaceful change.
“….The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said authorities released a leading opposition figure Saturday. Ali Abdullah of the Damascus Declaration Group had been jailed since 2007 and was <b> among hundreds of political prisoners freed this week after Assad issued a general amnesty.</b>w
Assad also created a committee that he said would pave the way for a national dialogue, hoping the concessions would satisfy the revolt, which is posing the most serious challenge to the Assad family’s 40-year rule. What began as a disparate movement demanding reforms has grown into a resilient uprising seeking Assad’s ouster.
Assad has invited officials from 12 outlawed Kurdish parties to meet him, said Mohammed Moussa of the Kurdish Leftist Party, whose group was invited. He said the meeting is expected in the coming days…. Antalya, June 2nd, 2011
Will get in touch with intl institutions on Syria: opposition
PTI | 02:06 PM,Jun 04,2011
Antalya (Turkey), June 4 (Anadolu) Members of the Syrian opposition say that they would get in touch with international institutions in order to stop the ongoing bloodshed in Syria.Following the “Change in Syria Conference” held at Antalya’s Falez Hotel yesterday, members of the Advisory Committee elected at the conference, Ghassan al-Mufleh, Salim Mounem and Riad Ghannam, held a press conference and read out a document published at the end of the conference.Reading out the document, Salim Mounem said that the conference was held in order to extend support to the revolution in Syria after the Syrians made protests against the government.The demands of the Syrian people were brought onto the agenda.We demanded Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign.According to Syrian laws, the vice-president must assume the powers of al-Assad.Once the vice-president assumes the office, a new parliament must be established within 15 days.Parliamentary elections must take place within a year.If this basic demand is not met, the revolution will continue until the existing order is demolished, the Antalya document said….
Ghassan al-Mufleh thanked the Turkish government and nation for hosting them in Antalya and also thanked the media for making the conference heard in the world.Asked if the new Syrian state would be secular following the end of the current administration, Riad Ghannam said that there was no contradiction between Islam and democracy.”We can all be democrats and Muslims,” Ghannam underlined.President al-Assad has done nothing in the past 20 years.He took a decision in the last minute and issued an amnesty for those in prison.While some individuals were taken out of prisons, hundreds of others were placed in such prisons, Ghannam also said.The Antalya conference in Turkey provided a forum for 80 per cent of the Syrian opposition.Meanwhile, the election of a nine-member administrative committee by the Advisory Council was postponed to a future meeting.
Syrian opposition gathers in Brussels – Saturday
Syrian opposition groups took their campaign to Belgium on Saturday where they demanded an end to the crackdown led by President Bachar al-Assad.
Around 200 activists gathered at a Brussels hotel for a two-day conference after Turkey hosted a similar meeting earlier this week.
The aim of the conference, said organiser Bassem Hatahet, was to send al-Assad the message that “if he is really a leader, he should stop his crimes, and that if his forces continue to imprison and torture protesters, there must be a regime change.”
Hatahet said several different opposition groups and representatives from Syrian society were taking part in the conference. A statement would be issued at the close of the meeting on Sunday.
Following the conference in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya on Wednesday and Thursday, opposition groups urged al-Assad’s immediate resignation and the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections within a year.
Large crowds attended on Saturday the funerals of 50 people killed by security forces during anti-regime protests in Hama the previous day, human rights activists said.
More than 1,100 civilians have been killed and at least 10,000 arrested in a brutal crackdown on almost daily demonstrations in Syria since March 15, rights organisations say.
More than 70 Syrians were killed over the weekend in the largest anti-government protests yet against President Bashar Assad’s regime, with around 50 killed in the city of Hama alone, according to a Syrian human rights group. A Kurdish source says …
The opposition’s main focus at this point is to enlist world public opinion to get Western countries, particularly the United States, to take a firm line against Assad and his regime. Syrian opposition forces are disappointed that the United States has not demanded Assad’s ouster the way it did with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
A source in Washington told Haaretz that this stems in part from Russia’s strong support of Assad, as well as uncertainty over what would replace the current regime in Syria, where no independent government or economic institutions exist. There have been a number of unconfirmed reports from Syria on the arrest of senior Syrian officers who refused to have their units use force against demonstrators. The opposition assumes that if Washington demanded Assad’s departure, the Syrian army could shift its stance.