Unsurprisingly, members of the internal opposition declared that they were not coordinating with the Brussels conference. Syrian activist and lawyer Najati Tayyara and Human Rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni both stated (Arabic. Al-Mustaqbal, 3/18/06) that there was no internal coordination with the Brussels conference, but neither one attacked the conference or the participants. In fact, Tayyara was quoted as saying, "the internal opposition stands with any internal or external effort which aims for the good of Syria." Tayyara added, "so far, cooperation between the inside and the outside has been confined to declarations from both sides, with the external [opposition] supporting internal activity, and the internal [opposition] welcoming any national effort outside Syria."
Also, Asharq al-Awsat quotes (Arabic. 3/18/06) the "temporary committee of the Damascus Declaration" as saying, "the Damascus Declaration has no relation to the meeting" in Brussels, "which only concerns its participants."
Khaddam had addressed this issue in another interview (Arabic) published by Elaph on March 16:
In fact, the conference represents the the opposition [forces] in exile, and all of those have their extensions inside Syria. We avoided inviting any opposition [force] from inside Syria for security reasons. Because, as you are well aware, if a citizien so much as utters a single word against the regime, they would be immediately summoned by the security forces, beaten and imprisoned. Therefore, out of concern for the safety of these dissidents, the organizers of this meeting was careful not to send invitations to the inside, but to keep it limited to the external [forces], especially parties who have extensions inside Syria.
Indeed, recent days have seen the arrest (and subsequent release) of dissidents and activists (see these previous posts below), such as Riad Seif, who demonstrated alongside Kurds, and Ammar Qurabi, who participated in an opposition conference in Paris.