A two-day meeting of independent members from Syria’s opposition kicked off in Riyadh on Friday to choose their representatives of the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC).
The number of independent representatives to be elected at the SNC is eight out of 36 members, as part of a continuous rotation and broad representation of all components of the commission.
Friday’s meeting saw the presence of members from the Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCC), in addition to factions from the Free Syrian Arms and the Kurdish National Council (KNC), and members from the Moscow and Egyptian platforms.
During the 10-hour meeting, held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry, the representatives elected Rassem al-Atassy as head of the two-day sessions, for being the oldest attending member.
On Saturday, the Syrian opposition should choose a drafting committee, an election committee and an observation committee.
Hoda al-Mihyasawi, member of the preparatory committee at the SNC meetings in Riyadh, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Friday’s meeting is part of the continuous Saudi efforts to unify the Syrian opposition delegation discussing the political operation in Syria.
She said that in November 2018, independent opposition figures, attending the Riyadh 2 meetings, demanded to hold yearly elections of the SNC independent members.
“There is no explanation for holding the current meeting in Riyadh. We just wanted to hold the meeting before 2020. Therefore, we called on all members of the Commission and some political leaders from the opposition to choose candidates they consider suitable, on condition to be independent, and available for travel, also considering the participation of women in at least 30 percent,” she said.
In 2017, more than 140 participants from a broad spectrum of Syria’s mainstream opposition met in Saudi Arabia to seek a unified position in UN-backed peace talks with the Syrian regime.
Dr. Nasr al-Hariri, the chairman of the High Negotiating Committee, told the newspaper this week that Saudi Arabia has been supporting the Syrian people to realize their legitimate demands and improve the humanitarian situation in the region, providing support to the Syrian opposition in the first and second Riyadh conferences.