Syrian National Council chairman, Burhan Ghalioun, announced today that the Tunisian government will officially recognize the Council. According to the chairman, Tunisian recognition will be given as a result of the Syrian National Council’s reassurances to the Tunisian government regarding the authenticity of the organization’s democratic intentions.
During today’s session, Ghalioun clarified the Council’s objectives and its vision for Syria’s future. Throughout the conference Ghalioun emphasized the necessity to protect Syrian civilians while maintaining a strict policy of non-violence. The Chairman stated that the role of the Free Syrian Army, the coalition of officers that have defected from the Syrian army, should be limited to defense of protestors. However, he stated that his organization was not against the offensive use of force, either from the Free Syrian Army or an Arab intervention detachment, should circumstances in certain areas necessitate it.
The Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem recently signed an Arab League initiative to send observers from Arab league nations to Syria. Though Ghalioun claimed that the Arab League decision was a step in the right direction, he expressed doubts that they would be allowed access by the regime to sites where protests and crackdowns were taking place.
Ghalioun concluded by asserting that the Syrian National Council would succeed in toppling the Assad regime through a three-pronged effort: Increasing coordination with local organizations on the ground, protecting demonstrators with forces provided by the Free Syrian Army, and advocating for increased international pressure.
The Syrian National Council, a coalition of Syrian opposition groups leading the deposition of the Assad regime, concluded its three-day conference in Gammarth, Tunisia, marking the first congressional session the organization has held to date. The Council is comprised of a number of different constituencies of Syrians, both in exile and currently within the country, disillusioned with the Assad regime.