Gathered in Rome at the Community of Sant’Egidio, we who belong to various groups of the Syrian democratic opposition, active both inside and outside the country, address this appeal to the Syrian people, to all sides involved and to the international community.
We have different opinions and experiences. We have struggled and continue to struggle for freedom, dignity, democracy, human rights and to construct a Syria that is democratic, civil and safe for all, without fear and without oppression. We love Syria. We know that Syria, a place where different religions and peoples have coexisted peacefully, today runs a deadly risk that threatens the unity of its people, their rights and the sovereignty of the state.
We are not neutral. We are part of the Syrian people, which is suffering because of the oppression of a dictatorship and its corruption. We are firmly opposed to any discrimination based on religious confession or ethnicity, from whatever side it comes. We are in favour of a Syria of equals sharing citizenship. We desire to see a Syria that is a homeland for all, able to respect life and human dignity in justice.
The military solution is holding the Syrian people hostage and does not offer a political solution capable of responding to the people’s deepest aspirations. Violence leads people to think that there is no alternative to the use of weapons. But the victims, the martyrs, the injured, the detained, the disappeared, the mass of refugees inside and outside the country, call on us to take the responsibility to stop the spiral of violence. We commit ourselves to supporting all forms of peaceful political struggle and civil resistance and to promote a new phase of meetings and conferences inside the country.
It is not too late to save our country! While recognizing the right of citizens to legitimate defence, we repeat: Weapons are not the solution. We must reject violence and the slip into a civil war because that places at risk the state, and our national identity and sovereignty.
Today more than ever we need a political exit from the dramatic situation in which we find ourselves. It is the best way to defend our ideals and to obtain the objectives of those who are putting their very lives at risk for liberty and dignity. We invite our fellow citizens in the Free Syrian Army and all those bearing arms, to participate in a political process to establish a peaceful, secure and democratic Syria.
We cannot accept Syria being transformed into a theatre of regional and international conflict. We believe the international community has the strength and the necessary ability to find a consensus that would be the basis of a political solution to the current dramatic crisis, based on the imposition of a ceasefire, the withdrawal of the military, the release of detainees and the kidnapped, the return of refugees, emergency assistance for the victims, a real global negotiation that excludes no one and a process that would be completed with real national reconciliation based on justice.
We ask that the United Nations be the only international body responsible for coordinating humanitarian assistance to Syrians in difficulty, both within the country and outside it.
With this appeal, we address all Syrians, particularly the youth: We will build our future with our hands. Together let us build a democratic, civil, peaceful and pluralistic Syria. We appeal to all those who struggle for democratic change in Syria, no matter what group they belong to: Let us begin a dialogue and a coordination effort what would rapidly move Syria to a transition phase toward democracy on the basis of a common national pact.
We thank the Community of Sant’Egidio for its work and support in seeking a solution to Syria’s national crisis and we ask them to continue to accompany the efforts and the work that awaits us.
Roma, Sant’Egidio, 26 July 2012
List of the signatories
NCB (National Coordination Body)
DEMOCRATIC ISLAMIC GROUP
Syrian Trade Union/ Women Syrian Activist
MAA Movement (Together)
BUILDING SYRIAN STATE
WEST KURDISTAN Assembly
HORAN RENCONTRES (FOR CITYZENSHIP)
UGAB ABOU SUEDE