DAMASCUS, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) — Syrian observers and analysts slammed the Friends of Syria conference currently underway in Tunis, pointing out that “it would further inflame the violence in Syria under the pretext of building humanitarian corridors.”
“The participants of this conference are not standing at the same distance from all parties of the conflict in Syria, but they are trying to incite the opposition against the regime,” Janpolat Shkai, a political analyst, told Xinhua.
He pointed that the conference “will have symbolic success, but will be a failure in terms of content, …and will further aggravate the crisis rather than calm it down.”
Around 70 countries are taking part in the two-day Friends of Syria Conference convening in Tunis.
The conference gathers top diplomats from the Arab League, the European Union and the United States, but is marked by the absence of Russia, which denounced the meeting as one-sided without the participation of Damascus.
China, who also decided not to attend the conference, said it needed to further study the aim, effect and mechanism of the conference and it had no idea of the preparations of the conference. At the same time, China said it is a friend of the Syrian and Arab peoples.
Analysts in Damascus said the last-ditch squeezing measure aims to unify the Syrian opposition groups and work for toppling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, Shkai pointed that “the humanitarian pretext promoted by the participants of the conference won’t help to stop the wheels of violence,” stressing that “the conference lost its credibility and became a tool to achieve certain agendas by some countries.”
Meanwhile, Abdulaziz Kheir, a Syrian opponent, said the Tunis conference has little chance of success, stressing that a more diverse participation is needed to achieve the desired balance of international stances.
Another political analyst, Ahmad al-Haj Ali, regarded the conference as “a new phase to aggravate the Syrian crisis,” pessimistic of any serious results out of the conference.
He said the Western powers went to the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council to gain support for their scheme but failed and after that, they invented something new to internationalize the Syrian crisis.
He further charged that any attempt to impose humanitarian corridors would be a new cover for smuggling weapons to the armed groups.
Ali Haidar, a moderate analyst, warned that the conference will escalate the violence in Syria through arming and financing the rebels under the banner of “humanitarian corridors.”
Meanwhile, Bassam Abdullah, an international relations professor at Damascus University, told Xinhua during a recent interview that the conference should be called “the enemies of Syria,” pointing out that it came to give a new breath to the ” fractured” opposition abroad.
“I can’t understand how the United States can be a friend to Syria after all the sanctions that it had imposed during and before the unrest, which targeted the Syrian people only,” he said.
In Tunis, representatives of the Damascus-based National Coordination Body, announced their boycott to the conference, due to what they called “the suspicious role” of some countries in the conference.
In a statement, the opposing body, which initially planned to send a delegation, said it “found something suspicious regarding the arrangement and the role of some countries in this event, and thus decided not to attend it.”
“Despite the reassurance by the Tunisian president that the conference would deal equally with all opposition spectra and that the foreign military intervention is a red line, some countries moved to control the conference with specific agenda and premeditated goals,” the statement said, adding that “there is a tendency towards the idea of foreign military intervention, which runs against the interest of the Syrian people.”
Crimson Satellite Syria News