11 January 2014
Gathering in Spain's southern Cordoba city to discuss the upcoming Geneva II Conference scheduled for January 22, a group of 130 Syrian opposition members asked for a guarantee from the international community to "allow no role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's transition process."
The Syrian opposition met in Spain for the third time since 2012 with the Spanish government's logistic support at historic Umayyad-Andalusia, after the previous meetings in Madrid in March 2012 and May 2013.
Released ahead of Geneva peace talks on Syria, the 7-article declaration stipulated the "implementation of all the decisions taken at Geneva I before Geneva II, the setting of a time limit for the transition process, and guarantee against assigning any role to the Assad regime or any of its representatives in the Syria."
"A political solution is a core element for the future of Syria, but not the only solution," said Syrian opposition figures, agreeing that "any political solutions to be offered must yield to the elimination of all regime figures, and the handover of authority to the transition government."
The declaration also urged for the "release of people under detention in Syria, enabling the safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, lifting of regional embargoes so as to guarantee humanitarian aid to all Syrian people in Syria, and a halt to the ongoing bombardment."
Reiterating the territorial integrity of Syria and the Syrian people's unity, opposition groups noted that "for a fully independent Syria, all foreign powers must leave the country, except for those the people of Syria want."
"An interest-based relation with foreign countries must rely on reciprocal strategical grounds, so that countries with interests in the region mustn't support the Assad regime which no longer has any legitimacy," added the declaration.
The "Cordoba Declaration" also voiced the need to "set up a commission making it possible to put on trial the planners and implementers inside the Assad regime, to undertake efforts towards creating a national alliance which can remove all regime symbols, and to coordinate the organization of a national congress to be attended by all opposition figures who control all political, military and civilian powers in Syria."
The main agenda of the two-day meeting in Cordoba was negotiating the common compromise points among opposition groups before the Geneva II Conference.
In the meantime, the Spanish government reportedly spent 250 thousand Euros for the meetings amid the economic crisis.