27 June 2011
Luay Hussein: This is the first time we meet in front of our people so we have huge responsibilities.
Luay Hussein: Those meeting here are not advocates of violence.
Fadi Salem: Media was allowed in the first session and Syrian local Radio Cham is broadcasting live.
Munther Khaddam: Who would have thought we can have this conference ever here.
Munther Khaddam: They used to count our breathes! Thanks to martyrs we’re having this conf. today.
Munther Khaddam: Peaceful transition to democracy is the way forward. Anything else is disastrous.
Michel Kilo: Some people only see symptoms and this can cause new problems. Solving core issues is the solution.
Michel Kilo: The following are my recommendation for a solution.
Michel Kilo: 1- immediate recognition of political parties that are not religious or ethnic in nature
Michel Kilo: 2- clause 8 of the constitution should be “frozen” immediately as trust building measure
Michel Kilo: 3- the opposition should be given immediate license to publish a paper as trust building measure
Michel Kilo: 4- reforming the legal system is a priority
Michel Kilo: These should be immediate trust building measures.
Michel Kilo: Additionally security “solution” should be stopped and army should go back to bases.
Michel Kilo: 80 percent of the Syrian population are under 35. Where are they in this conference?
Michel Kilo: There is no security solution to the problem of unemployment.
Michel Kilo: The security solution is a failure and cause more cracks in society.
Michel Kilo: It is not feasible to start national dialogue with “security solution” taking place.
Michel Kilo: Releasing all political prisoners is a prerequisite for national dialogue.
Michel Kilo: The past few months felt like Afghanistan not Syria!
Michel Kilo: These are not conditions for national dialogues but success factors.
Michel Kilo: The ideology that was embedded in the regime for 50 years lacks mechanisms for finding solutions.
Michel Kilo: Recreating the modern society starts from granting Syrians their freedoms.
Munther Khaddam: We reiterate our rights to free our occupied lands and Palestinian lands.
Munther Khaddam: There is no middle ground between authoritarianism and democracy.
Munther Khaddam: Trust in the current system is very low. A transition into a new system is needed.
Shawqi Baghdadi: We don’t claim to represent the street.
Shawqi Baghdadi: Kilo suggested for immediate trust building measures. If authorities agrees a solution is possible.
Ibrahim Zur (Kurdish opposition): Other Syrians should not look suspiciously at Kurds.
Hasan Al-Ali: Those with Syrian blood on their hands should be brought to justice publicly.
Hasan Al-Ali: Kurds who suffered in the past should be compensated.
Sabah Hallaq: Women should have an integral role in the process of building the new Syria.
Mohammad Al-Ammar: Random detentions which happened in Banyas was to intimidate the people.
Anis Kanj: A new constitution under which everyone is equal is the translation of social justice.
Joseph Ibrahim: The conference should also tackle economic issues.
Jaudat Saeed: Now that Egypt is on way 2 democracy, Arab world should follow.
Jaudat Saeed: Arms will solve nothing. Voting booths will.
Burhan Naseef: The violence and external meddling in Syria are the authorities fault.
Suleiman Yousef: Unacceptable that our constitution has sectarian clause claiming that Islam is the basic source.
Suleiman Yousef: There can be no civil state based on sectarian constitution.
Suleiman Yousef: Christians should be allowed to run for presidency in Syria.
Mousa Hanna: Civil movements should continue while we move in the transitional phase.
Mousa Hanna: We reject any external intervention or meddling.
Jalal Naufal: There is a big portion of Syrian society which doesn’t agree with the uprising.
Anwar Mohamad: Authorities should punish all those who allowed weapons to enter the country.
Anwar Mohamad: Syrian opposition should be given space on Syrian state TV and media.
Translation by @3ayeef via Fadi Salem, reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes. See, also, Sami Moubayed, “The Road to Syrian Democracy: A New Political Party Law to End One-Party Rule” (MRZine, 26 June 2011). Cf. Joshua Landis, “Syria’s Opposition Faces an Uncertain Future” (Syria Comment, 26 June 2011); Joshua Landis, “Syrian Opposition Conference: Semiramis Hotel: 200 Members — First Impressions” (Syria Comment, 27 June 2011).
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