"The Doha Conference and the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, SNCORF, was one more failed attempt to create a unified, politically and militarily credible opposition… The failure to create this opposition is not least caused by the fact that there exist considerable conflicts of interest between the US, UK, the PGCC members and Israel on one hand, and continental European EU member states and Turkey on the other," said Dr. Christof Lehmann in an interview with Fars News Agency.
Dr. Christof Lehmann is a German political pundit, analyst and author. He has been the advisor of many political figures and leaders across the world. He is also a practicing clinical psychologist and has been actively advocating Palestinians' right to statehood and self determination. He is the founder of NSNBC media collective and his writings have appeared on different online and print outlets such as China's The 4th Voice.
Christof Lehmann took part in an interview with Fars News Agency to discuss the latest developments in Syria, the failure of opposition groups to reach a consensus and the prospect of the 22-month crisis in the country. What follows is the text of the interview.
Q: It seems that the United States has failed to bring together all the members of the Syrian opposition, and the Doha conference, held on early November last year, was shunned by a number of opposition groups who called it an "American game" that has nothing to do with the demands of the Syrian people. What's your take on that?
A: We have to differentiate between a genuine Syrian spectrum of political parties and a foreign backed pseudo-opposition. The genuine political organizations in Syria are vehemently opposed to the attempted political and military subversion of Syria. This genuine opposition includes the Kurdish organizations such as the KNC and PYD, the National Coordination Committee which unites a broad spectrum of progressive left-wing parties, youth organizations, religious organizations, human rights organizations, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, the Peoples' Will Party and many others.
Syria has a vivid, active and productive political reform movement which in fact also includes the Baath Party. None of them accept the legitimacy of a foreign backed political or military intervention and the aggression which has halted reforms rather than furthering them. Some, as you say, call the Doha initiative an American game. That is a popular simplification of the facts.
As I have explained it in part five of my article "The Dynamics of the Crisis in Syria, Conflict vs. Conflict Resolution", there exists no such thing as a coherent, foreign-backed political and military opposition. It never existed and Doha has not changed that fact. Even among those nations who support the foreign backed opposition there are many conflicting interests. (1) The Doha Conference and the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, SNCORF, was one more failed attempt to create a unified, politically and militarily credible opposition. As I have also specified it in the article, the failure to create this opposition is not least caused by the fact that there exist considerable conflicts of interest between the US, the UK, the PGCC members and Israel on one hand, and continental European EU member states and Turkey on the other. The situation in the Middle East has become extremely complex and volatile since the onset of the Arab Spring.
Q: In late 2012, the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces was formed in Doha, Qatar, and they decided to establish an interim government in exile and call for a national conference if Syria's current administration is ousted. Is this initiative going to get the opposition figures anywhere? Will they realize the changes they demand by forming an interim government in exile and calling for the overthrowing of the government of President Assad?
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