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Hope springs from new Syrian entity

Aspirations for freedom and peace are high and the opposition should not lose sight of what people want

Gulf News

There is much work needed from all parties that are directly or indirectly involved in drawing the future of Syria. The task is complex as much as intricate as the matter is no longer confined to a single group that is calling for change. The responsibility of ensuring the integrity of the nation remains one that all Syrians should shoulder regardless of their background or political leanings.

A major step has been adopted by the Syrian opposition. Earlier this week, various opposition groups came together in Doha to choose a new leadership. Muath Al Khatib has been selected to head the newly formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (SNCORF). Riad Saif and Suheir Al Atassi have been elected as deputies. The Arab League, the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as several western countries have welcomed the step and recognised the new body.

This is an important step for Syrians as this entity is supposed to be the vehicle for moving towards a final solution to the crisis. It is also supposed to function as an umbrella group that unites all factions. Hence, it is critical that a clear and full agenda is outlined for what needs to be done in the near future. Without such a blueprint, the conflict will continue without an end in sight.

Furthermore, the new body will be required to speak with one voice. This will obviously mean that its leadership has to play a role of reconciliation and focus on building consensus.

There is no doubt that the focus, as much as the pressure, on the SNCORF is immense. This is simply because the aspirations for freedom and peace are very high. And hence, the new opposition entity should never lose sight of what the people want — an end to the bloodshed and suffering of thousands of innocent civilians. It is high time that forces and efforts are gathered for the sake of Syria.