Dr. Essam El-Erian, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Egyptian People’s Assembly (PA), and Vice Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), called on the Syrian opposition challenging Bashar Al-Assad and his regime to unify around clear goals and strategies to topple the Syrian regime and achieve success for the Syrian revolution. He stressed that Syria must not become a surrogate battlefield for competing regional or international forces, or be subjected to Zionist or Israeli hegemony. He added that Al-Assad's downfall was imminent.
During a joint meeting between the PA's Foreign Relations Committee and Arab Affairs Committee, earlier this week, El-Erian underscored the importance of adopting a clear stance by the PA delegation on its intentions of attending the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) and the Arab Transitional Parliament conference scheduled to take place next month.
He stated that the Syrian revolution is now facing a crucial political turnaround, adding that the bloodshed must stop immediately and the Syrian regime's aggression against its people must end. He pointed that certain powers were attempting to alter the revolution's course, turning into a sectarian crisis, contrary to the truth.
El-Erian said that there were Alawi protesters fighting alongside Sunni Muslims in Syria against Assad’s regime. He stressed that the Syrian people’s revolution must remain focused against the injustice and repression they suffered under Assad rule, and not get reduced to a sectarian revolution.
He added that Egypt must move quickly and support the Syrian Revolution with whatever means possible without harming Egypt's home security or general interests. He said that the Friends of Syria conference, held recently in Tunisia, indicated that the Syrian opposition's main demands included: no foreign intervention, no sectarian divisions and no militarization of the revolution.
Al-Erian called on the two committees' members to offer practical proposals to effectively support the Syrian revolution in accordance with the Syrian opposition's goals.
The meeting ended with suggestions to protect and support Syrians in Egypt, to open joint dialogue with Syrian opposition groups, launch an initiative to unify its ranks and form a committee to meet with European nations opposed to the Syrian Revolution. Other proposals included organizing aid campaigns in collaboration with aid organizations such as the Red Crescent and Red Cross.
For his part, Arab Affairs Committee Chairman, MP Mohamed Saeed Idris, stated that there were numerous Arab and foreign countries endeavoring to obstruct and derail the Syrian revolution, for mutual interests linking them to the Assad regime, such as Russia, China, Iran, Lebanon and Iraq.
Idris added, "If the Syrian opposition assured these nations that their interests would not be affected, they would surely have backed the Syrian revolution".
Rejecting calls to sever all relations with the Syrian regime, Idris explained that urging the Foreign Ministry to completely cut ties with Al-Assad were simple enough, adding that this was not what the Syrian opposition wanted. “The Syrian people need our support. Severing diplomatic ties and heaping pressure on the Syrian government is not enough. The people need humanitarian aid and diplomatic support, which cannot be provided if all relations are severed", Idris pointed out.
The meeting also addressed inquiries by MPs regarding two Iranian warships which sailed through the Suez Canal en route to Syria in support of the regime there. According to Ambassador Mohamed Mustafa Kamal, assistant to Foreign Affairs Minister, Egypt does not have the right to stop any country’s ships traveling through the Suez canal, unless it was in open war with that country or the ship carried harmful radioactive material, as stipulated in international conventions. "We cannot discuss any amendments to these conventions at this time", he said.