Syrians in Sweden: ‘observers, not intervention’

Syrian opposition leaders meeting in Stockholm on Monday called for the deployment of international observers in their country but were largely opposed to foreign military intervention.

The opposition group leaders who met at the weekend agreed on “the international community’s role, demanding to have observers on site, and that minority groups should be given legally binding protection”m once a new regime is in place”, Jens Orback, the secretary general of the Olof Palme Centre, told reporters.

As for what happens with the current regime of Bashar al-Assad, the verdict

is clear, he said, pointing out that all opposition leaders agreed “it must be


Also during the conference, “there was nearly a consensus against military intervention and in favour of political and diplomatic intervention”, participant Ghied Al Hashmy, who lives in Berlin, told reporters in the Swedish capital through a translator.

“The participants were very welcoming of the idea of having international observers who could move about freely in the country and observe the situation,” she added.

“The Syria of the future will be built on a basis of pluralism, of democracy,” another participant, Faiez Sara, said.

Some 90 representatives of the Syrian opposition, including members of the Syrian National Council (SNC), participated in the weekend conference organised by the Olof Palme Centre.

The recently formed SNC includes most of Assad’s opponents, including committees organising protests on the ground, the Muslim Brotherhood as well as various Kurdish and Assyrian parties.

The council has been touring capital cities to rally support from the Arab and Western world.

According to the United Nations, the Assad regime’s relentless crackdown on dissent has claimed more than 2,900 lives since March.

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