Wednesday 14 November 2012

Moaz al-Khatib’s open letter to the Syrian people

Moaz al-Khatib is the head of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. He put out this open letter today in Arabic
Khatib (left) with the German foreign minister in Cairo yesterday
O great people of Syria,
Our brothers and sisters and kinsfolk of fortitude, patience and purity!
I reiterate my gratitude to everyone who wrote an alphabetical character or raise a hand in prayer. I apologize for not writing back due to time-pressure.
In brief: I met yesterday with the foreign ministers of Germany and France. They promised good things to come. In the evening, France recognized your Coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
Congratulations to you on this step.
I want to explain to you something on which I need your help.
Syria is a dangerous area in the world. They won’t lift the regime’s political cover without ascertaining we can manage our country.
Likewise, they won’t offer relief or military assistance in the absence of a cohesive body managing the country.
Consequently, first of all, we need to unite. We don’t want someone coming on air to make a statement ruining everything and giving the impression that we are torn asunder.
Our objective is to bring down the regime. Everything else would follow.
I implore every opposition side to establish contact with us, to support us.
If anyone is looking for a post, I could serve as his subordinate to win him over and have him help bring down this regime.
I beg you. One misguided statement will destroy the country.
Recognition is the Syrian people’s gateway to win financial support. Therein comes the role of the Interim Government we are now trying to set up. We would be able to buy arms straight from the hip to bring down the regime.
Today, the United States made its recognition of the Coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people conditional on the Coalition demonstrating its ability to represent the Syrian people.
This is a historic moment. I beseech God that we don’t disappoint you. But please don’t let us down.
I want the coming Friday’s slogans to be thus: “Obama, don’t worry -- we stand by the Coalition.” I want streamers thanking the French president and placards saying, “The Syrian people are one” and “No extremism and no terror.” You need not use the same words, but their meaning.
I want the Military Councils to raise the Coalition’s banner under the flag of the Revolution. I want the Syrian people’s nature to come across without the venting of intemperate thoughts.
I want you to circulate this post by all means possible and relay it to civilians and the military.
I tell you: gather your courage. We want to bring down this regime as soon as possible. Our executive structures will be in place imminently. Our Interim Government is being mulled over and formed. (I repeat here that both the Coalition and Interim Government will disband once the regime collapses.)
Believe me, our people are our taskwork. With God’s help, we shall be up to the task.
I met yesterday with Lady Ashton, who is responsible for the EU’s Foreign Affairs. They wish us to have an Interim Government and show we are genuine and that the Syrian people are on our side.
Soon, in consultation with my colleagues, I will be talking to the media about important matters that could provide us with a shortcut. I trust in God we will be able to topple the tyrant of Damascus before the Revolution’s second anniversary. Muster your courage and come together.
Our martyrs’ souls are hovering over us. Our women are behind bars. Hundreds of thousands of our young men are in captivity. Our people are in disaster areas. They have become refugees or internally displaced. They are insecure and live in devastated homes. All this is our obligation. We need vigor and hard work.
Get started and God be with you.