Academic and Middle East affairs researcher Khattar Abu Diab says that there currently is a dialogue taking place, on the composition of a delegation of the Syrian opposition; that there are meetings being arranged in Moscow, to discuss the issue of Syrian representation in the Vienna negotiations, to be held next week.
Abu Diab—in a telephone conversation with Rozana, on Tuesday—states that the "question of the Syrian people’s representation has, from the very onset, been an issue on the negotiating table; based on which came the formation of the Syrian National Council and, at a later stage, the Coalition [SNC].”
He adds that "we note today Russia's bid to misappropriate the Syrian people’s representation, through its attempt to classify and categorize [groups into] terrorists and non-terrorists. It is far from alone in doing so, as other countries are trying to play this same game."
He also states: “Syrian elites, on the other hand, have not exactly shown themselves as shining examples when it comes to representation. This only compounds the existing difficulties in selecting a Syrian delegation to take part in the talks.”
As to the issue of the Syrian regime's approval to decisions taken in Vienna—if any—Abu Diab confirms that "the regime has not yet taken the decision to accept the [potential] solution; it now is under full Russian and Iranian tutelage.”
He notes that "the Syrian regime was surprised by some of the decisions [taken in] Vienna, especially in what concerns transparent elections to be held under United Nations auspices," adding: “the regime will, therefore, be tempted to attempt to escape this point by focusing on prioritizing the fight against terrorism—something it had been depending upon from the beginning, in order to escape any political claim or settlement."