CAIRO- Syrian opposition figures said they will meet in Cairo on July 2 via the invitation of the Arab League (AL) to discuss the increasing amount of violence against civilians after the Syrian revolt entered its 16th month.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Arabi said Thursday that the Arab League will host on July 2-3 a broad meeting for Syrian opposition to outline a unified vision over power-transition in their country witnessing a 15 month-long popular uprising.
In a press statement following a preparatory gathering held here Thursday, Al-Arabi said the coming conference will be attended by representatives of all opposition and national parties and movements.
"This is a quantum leap in the efforts exerted to unify the political stances of Syrian opposition," he said.
Al-Arabi noted that the preparatory meeting was fruitful and attendants have expressed the aspirations of Syrian people.
He also pointed out that Syria Contact Group will hold meeting on June 30 in Geneva to mull the latest developments in the file. The Arab League chief disclosed the meeting will be attended by world five major countries, UN and the leading international, Arab and Muslim organizations.
Al-Arabi underlined the need for launching a real political process for achieving Syrian people aspirations as well as staunch bloodshed.
The Cairo-based Arab League has invited different Syrian opposition to take part in the conference in Cairo and between 100 and 150 are expected to participate.
The AL has called for a dialogue with the opposition with the aim of reaching a unified voice over the country’s future and the post-Assad transitional period.
The conference will address claims that the opposition is divided in its vision and goals, but getting all to the dialogue table with the goal of creating a unified plan for the near future of the country.
The different opposition groups are raven by divisions over whether outside military intervention would help or hurt the country _ and whether to engage in dialogue with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. In addition, some Islamists opposed to President al-Assad’s rule are not viewed by other opposition members as true democrats.
The Arab League was heavily criticized for its lack of action on Syria after Bashar al-Assad’s regime shot dead over 15,000 people, including many children and women.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that violence has killed more than 15,000 people in Syria since a revolt erupted last year against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
At least 10,480 civilians, 3,715 soldiers and 830 army defectors have been killed in the crackdown and in clashes since March last year, said the Observatory, which counts those who have taken up arms against the regime as civilians.
But the United Nations says that more than 10,000 people have been killed by Assad's forces during the conflict. The government says at least 2,600 members of the military and security forces have been killed in the violence.
Any military intervention in the Middle East without the support of the Arab League would be politically fraught _ and highly unlikely. Western powers did not intervene in Libya, where there was an uprising against a despotic ruler, until the Arab League gave its blessing.
Inspired by the Arab Spring, Syrians revolted against the iron rule of President Bashar al-Assad and his Baath party. Their protests were met with great violence from the security forces, and soon after the army were attacking protest hotspots with heavy artillery.