The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria has launched an initiative to "heal the rift" within the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. It intends to engage all parties in dialogue "to restore the national cohesion to the coalition" against the backdrop of the election and questions about participation in the Geneva 2 conference.
The Brotherhood announced on its website that it had formed a committee of five leading members of the Movement to meet with all parties, listen to their views and ideas and come up with a solution that would preserve the national unity of the opposition.
About 40 members of the National Coalition have announced their intention to withdraw from the group after internal elections conducted by the General Assembly in Turkey. The problems led to the postponement of the decision on whether or not to participate in the Geneva 2 conference until 17 January. The Muslim Brotherhood's position is that it will not go to Geneva, where the international conference is set to begin on 22 January. "Going to Geneva 2 is a futile exercise," a spokesman told Syria's Masaryk Press. "It compromises the rights of the people of Syria."
The Brotherhood in Syria stressed its position about any political settlement, which should, it believes, be based on principles set out before the talks begin. These include forcing Assad's forces to stop the killings and a pledge that the discussions will lead to the establishment of a transitional governing body. "The latter," insists the movement, "should have full ruling powers but no role for Assad or any of his regime members." All foreign fighters loyal to the Syrian regime should also be forced to leave the country, the Brotherhood statement concluded.