The Organisation for Democracy and Freedom in Syria

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Paris: ODFS calls for democratic reform in Syria in Next Century Foundation Conference

Sunday, 13 November 2011 1 more image(s) »

A conference regarding the Syrian uprising was held in Paris by the Next Century Foundation. Mrs Joanna Al-Assad led an ODFS delegation and made a speech calling for peaceful democratic reform in Syria.

The conference included various different parties and the Syrian National Democratic Council was formed through a democratic vote as a voice for the Syrian opposition.

Transcript of Speech:

May God have mercy upon the spirits of Syria’s righteous martyrs, both civilian and military.

We have never backed the imposed regime in Syria, nor have we backed the suppression of freedoms and arbitrary arrests. We have never backed its autocratic regime, the lack of free and fair elections, and the lack of free, fair and objective media.

We have called on the regime for years now to carry out various reforms at all levels. We have repeatedly appealed to the Syrian regime to release all political prisoners, authorize a multi-party system, hold free and fair elections leading to rotation of political power, allow freedom of expression, allow free media, and repeal the emergency law.

We have called for the control of the aggravating state of injustice, repression, corruption, and monopoly with which the Syrian people are burdened.

We have called for steering Syria towards the shore of safety and preventing its slide into violence and armed conflict that we are now witnessing in its beloved territory.

We have asked for a peaceful transitional change of Syria’s conditions since we know that if conflict erupted, it would not be easy to come up with a solution. The implementation of reform needs time and things cannot change overnight. For this reason, we have called for outlining a vision for the future and making carefully planned reform steps that deal with all aspects of public life. As a result, construction, advancement, and development in all areas will be promoted and opportunists seeking to take advantage of the bad situation to drag the country into violence, chaos, and instability will be checked.

Unlike us, the regime failed to read the situation and to envision the future, and its arrogance and intransigence has thus led to this impasse that is driving the country to the edge of the abyss.

The question that urgently arises now is how to attain salvation. What strategy should be followed to get our beloved Syria, its territory, people, heritage, history, and civilization out of this tragic situation which, if it persists, will inevitably lead to destruction and perdition?

What solution should be adopted to overcome this crisis and steer Syria towards the shore of safety? Is it by calling for foreign intervention as was the case in Iraq and Libya? Or is it by remaining silent on the fight and bloodshed taking place in its cherished territory?

The parties opposing dialogue and rejecting negotiation are either ignorant and unaware of the outcome of their intransigent stance, or they loathe Syria’s people and territory, deliberately provoke chaos and violence,

and engage in internal bloody fighting through which they embark on destroying this beloved country to serve foreign agendas. These schemes aim to involve the entire region in a cycle of violence and civil wars leading to partition after which every state is turned into a satellite state so that the big companies of powerful states can work in the [dominated] state and invest in all fields, such as the infrastructure and construction, and can also impose their economic, political, and cultural hegemony.

Objective and constructive dialogue is the only solution to the current crisis and each one of us, whether in the opposition or regime supporters, should rise above personal suffering and pain, as well as above all sorts of violence and damage inflicted on them for the sake of the highest interest, Syria’s interest.

This cannot be achieved unless we distance ourselves from hatred, resentment, and aversion and unless we heal wounds with tolerance and reconciliation that can be achieved through national reconciliation and unity, for the sake of building Syria’s future and promoting justice and freedom.

Long live Syria and the Syrian people, including all its factions, ethnic groups, and denominations.

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