George Sabra, president of the Syrian National Council, tells Deutsche Welle (DW) he still believes that with the support of the international community a political solution to the war in Syria could be reached.
George Sabra said the participation of the Syrian opposition in peace talks would only be possible if certain conditions were met. He specifically mentioned three conditions under which the Syrian National Council would take part in peace talks in Geneva: "First of all [the Syrian regime must] stop killing people inside Syria. […] For two and a half years the Syrian government has killed people not only every day, but every hour. And secondly, the Lebanese militia of Hezbollah should withdraw from Syria. Outside Syria, we have to have a guarantee and a resolution from the Security Council […] that Bashar al-Assad can't be a part of the future Syria anymore, especially during that transitional period."
Sabra was skeptical, however, as to whether the Syrian regime would be willing to find a peaceful solution. "Assad still depends on his choice to govern the Syrians by force, to kill people, to win the game by war only. As we know [the regime] is not serious enough to deal with political solutions, so we refuse to go to Geneva if nothing will be changed in this environment," said Sabra.
But Sabra is still optimistic about finding a political solution: "We always have to hope for a political solution and at the end we will reach a political solution. But we are asking our friends - friends of Syria in the world - to prepare the environment for that and to help Syrians to defend themselves. Because we have to convince Assad that there will not be a violent solution of the problem in Syria and the only way [to do so] is to support the Free Syrian Army, to support Syrian people to defend themselves."