Syrian dissidents and activists told AKI that the Syrian regime is working on several fronts "in order to dismantle the Damascus Declaration gathering" through "attempts at splitting its ranks and co-opting certain parties" who are part of the Declaration. (Arabic. 6/28/06).
Nevertheless, the AKI report notes that all the activists said that the parties who are signatories to the Damascus Declaration (DD) were "aware of the aims of this attempt and are working to make sure it does not succeed," adding, "the parties are committed to all the principles of the Declaration and will not enter into compromises to abandon them."
The Syrian regime had dispatched the recently appointed Vice President for cultural affairs to hold talks with some Kurdish parties, reportedly regarding the matter of the 120,000 Kurds who have been stripped of their citizenship. According to activists, the Syrian regime promised the leaders of certain Kurdish parties to look into the citizenship problem in return for their mass withdrawal from the Damascus Declaration, which would lead in their view to the dismantling of the Declaration.
Citing reliable information it received, the AKI report says that all the Kurdish parties under the DD have rejected the compromise, and have asserted their position in the last general meeting of the DD groups, which was kept low key, and stated that they would not abandon their support for the Declaration for any reason whatsoever and that they would remain within the ranks of the united opposition.
The report further quotes sources as saying that there was an attempt by some intellectuals, under the sponsorship of the Syrian regime, to issue a counter-declaration to the Beirut-Damascus Declaration (BDD), in which they would criticize the BDD but would also call for the release of the signatories of the BDD who are still in jail. The sources said this attempt failed, but did not clarify the reason for its failure.
It is worth recalling that last month there were rumors of a written proposal, allegedly co-drafted by the security services, that was presented to the BDD detainees, perhaps as a potential compromise formula for their release, but the detainees rejected it.
A statement by the Committees for the Revival of Civil Society in Syria also argued that the prosecutor general was delaying their trials in order to keep them detained for as long as possible, and it was using this time "to stir up conflicts between the detainees and attempt to blackmail them ... in order to push them to retract their support for the Beirut-Damascus Declaration." (Arabic. ME Transparent, 6/28/06). "The detainees," the statement went on to say, have nevertheless "expressed their continued committment to and unity around [the BDD]."
Finally, the Committee for the Support and Activation of the Damascus Declaration recently met in Paris and agreed, among several things, to start a fund to support democratic activism in Syria and those affected by the regime's repression, including the families of prisoners of conscience. (Arabic. Via The Atassi Forum, 6/24/06).