|AP / Scanpix Sweden, Christine Olsson, File|
Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun.
Two of Syria’s major opposition groups, the Syrian National Council and the National Coordination Committee, overcame fracturing to sign an agreement Friday to set up an egalitarian democracy that will draft a new constitution and operate without foreign military aid, in the event ongoing protests succeed in ousting President Bashar al-Assad. —ARK
Burhan Ghalioun, leader of the SNC, and Haytham Manna of the NCB, signed the agreement in Cairo on Friday night, according to officials from both parties. The draft agreement states both groups reject any foreign military intervention in Syria, a move previously advocated by the SNC and opposed by the NCB, and calls for the protection of civilians by all legitimate means under international laws.
It also states that as soon as Assad’s regime falls a “transitional period” would begin by preserving all state institutions and then drafting a new constitution that guarantees a “civilian pluralist parliamentary democratic system”. A new parliament and president would then be elected.
The draft also states that all Syrian citizens are equal and the country’s Kurdish minority is a “fundamental and historic” part of Syria’s national structure. It also calls for “liberating Syrian territory”, an apparent reference to the Golan Heights occupied by Israel since 1967.
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