The Syrian National Council has rejected a plan by world powers to create a transitional government in the country.
Their cool reaction comes after the Action Group on Syria meeting in Geneva left open the option for members of the current regime to play a future role.
Several overseas-based opposition figures angrily ruled out the idea of President Bashar al-Assad taking part in a new administration.
In the capital Damascus where support for Assad is strongest, some Syrians questioned why the country’s future was being decided thousands of kilometres away.
“I think this summit was set up to suit the US and its allies, France and Britain,” said one man. “But with Russian and Chinese backing and with the popular support for Bashar al-Assad, perhaps we can get what’s right for the Syrian people.”
Another resident was delighted that Russia won a concession at the Geneva meeting that removed plans to prevent the current leadership from being part of a future government.
“I think the meeting was relatively successful.
Without Russia we would not have had such concessions. I hope the opposition will take the right step. The most important thing now is dialogue,” he said.
Saturday’s summit called for a transitional government based on “mutual consent”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was “delighted” that the deal would not impose a specific process on Syria.
But following the meeting, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton still insisted that Assad would have to step down.