In Focus | Syria

Al Assad exit in two months, Syrian National Council’s prime ministerial candidate says

Transitional government will not consider talks until Al Assad goes, Al Moslet says

  • By Zaher Bitar, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 13:11 March 2, 2013
  • Gulf News

SNC prime ministerial candidate Salem Al Moslet
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • Salem Al Moslet is the Syrian National Council’s prime ministerial candidate.

Dubai: The Syrian transitional government, which is set to be formed on March 5 in Istanbul, will not consider any dialogue with [Bashar] Al Assad’s regime until he steps down, Salem Al Moslet, Syrian National Council’s (SNC) prime ministerial candidate, has said.

In an interview with Gulf News, Al Moslet predicted that the Syrian crisis would be resolved very soon and Al Assad would go in two months. However, Al Moslet blamed the international community for “taking time” to help in the formation of the transitional government.

“Whoever handles the transitional government and no matter what shape it will take, its pre-condition is that the president step down before any talks should be considered.”

“This [transitional] government must push for the removal of President Bashar Al Assad.”

He said that the transitional government’s objectives are to support the anti-regime fighters, form a united base for the military forces inside Syria and ensure the return of security and stability to liberated territories.

Al Moslet stressed that such a government should disqualify Al Assad and the symbols of his regime from power and meet the demands of the Syrian people.

The government will have at least ten technocrat ministers with expertise in financial, military and logistics, he said.

The three SNC prime ministerial candidates are Al Moslet (24 votes), Dr Osama Kadi (19 votes) and Dr Burhan Ghalioun (17 votes). At that time, members of the SNC, a Cairo-based umbrella group, called on the Council to appoint a transitional government, with guarantees that it will be internationally recognised and supported.

Since its formation, the SNC has been pushing for a transitional government but it lacked international support. “The international and Arab communities were reluctant to support the formation of the transitional government since the formation of the Syrian National Coalition.”

However, they have been very supportive and we have secured promises to go ahead with the formation of this government, he added.

The main task of the planned government is to kickstart the transition of power from the Al Assad regime.

“It will be a government with full executive powers and will be based in areas rebels refer to as liberated territories.”

The ministers will be elected in a few days to answer the needs of the Syrians. The situation in Syria is getting worse by the day, chaos reigns and the death toll has crossed 70,000.

“We will have an executive structure in place which will coordinate the operations of the those fighting for freedom and follow the will of the sovereign Syrian people,” he said.

Managing Syria’s frozen assets would be another task of this government, he added.

Al Moslet spoke about the possibility of an end to the crisis within two months. “With the current achievements of the free Syrian army as has been gaining ground in recent weeks, stepping up its attacks on government troops and expanding the area under its control, we are seeing the end of the Al Assad regime very close. And the Damascus battle will be the end.

Large swathes of northwestern and eastern Syria are out of regime control. Areas in the north serve both as rebel rear bases and as locations for civil society groups transferring aid from neighbouring Turkey to work from.

“I visited these liberated territories two weeks ago with SNC members and realised the achievements. Almost 70 per cent of the Syrian land is in rebel control,” he said.

Moreover, he pointed to the “hysterical state of the regime” with increasing violence and bloodshed as evidence that the end of Al Assad is near.

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