Syrian opposition unites against Assad

Transitional gov't would abolish the 1963 state of emergency, release prisoners.

By
March 17, 2006 22:31
1 minute read.
assad 298.88

assad 298.88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Exiled Syrian opposition figures formed a united front Friday calling for a transitional government to prepare for the overthrow of President Bashar Assad's regime. Calling Assad's regime "despotic and corrupt," they underlined the need for opposition groups in and outside Syria to close ranks to plan for "the desired change and build a democratic system." The meeting was called by Syria's former Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam and Ali Sadr el-Din Bayanouni, head of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Khaddam broke with Assad last year and fled to Paris. The meeting included diverse groups including former members of the ruling Baath party along with representatives of the outlawed the Brotherhood together with liberal and democratic groups and a delegate from the Kurdish minority. They formed a "front of national salvation" and urged the formation of a six-month transitional government to "take up the reins of power at the appropriate moment," protect the country from chaos and prepare for elections. The proposed transitional government would abolish the 1963 state of emergency and release all political prisoners, they said in a statement. "The front calls upon all opposition forces to cooperate with it to bring about the desire of the Syrian people for change," they said in a statement after a two-day meeting in the Belgian capital. They pledged to work together to spread their message both within Syria and among other Arab countries. They issued no call for revolt or protests within the country. Khaddam was for many years Syria's top official in Lebanon and was a member of the Baath Party's regional command, its most influential body, for almost 30 years. He represents an old guard long seen as wary of Assad, who became president after the death of his father and predecessor, Hafez Assad, in 2000. Khaddam has accused Assad of responsibility for last year's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Khaddam was a close friend of Hariri who was killed along with 20 other people in a massive truck bombing in Beirut on February 14, 2005. A UN probe has implicated top Syrian and Lebanese security officials in the assassination.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A missile from the S-300 anti-aircraft system during the International Army Games in Russia
September 18, 2018
ANALYSIS: What Russia’s Latakia condemnation means for Israel

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN