Topic: Protests in Syria
A UN-backed plan to end the internal conflict in Syria has a slim chance of success because opponents of the Syrian government are funding armed opposition© REUTERS/ Khaled al-Hariri
A UN-backed plan to end the internal conflict in Syria has a slim chance of success because opponents of the Syrian government are funding armed opposition© AFP 2013/ Bulent Kilic
A UN-backed plan to end the internal conflict in Syria has a slim chance of success because opponents of the Syrian government are funding armed opposition© RIA Novosti. Rustam Buzanov
MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti, Alexey Eremenko)
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A UN-backed plan to end the internal conflict in Syria has a slim chance of success because opponents of the Syrian government are funding armed opposition in the country parallel to taking part in peace negotiations, Russian analysts said.
“The situation is a mockery of the very idea of conflict settlement,” said Vladimir Bartenev, a global affairs analyst with the Moscow State University.
The plan by Kofi Annan, UN’s special envoy to Syria, proposes implementing a ceasefire, ensuring access to humanitarian aid for all citizens, releasing political prisoners, upholding freedoms of movement and association and advancing political process in the country.
The plan was backed by UN’s Security Council and, unexpectedly, by Damascus, which is set to withdraw troops from major Syrian cities by April 10. Some 9,000 people were killed in clashes between the government and the opposition in Syria since March 2011, according to the UN’s estimates.
However, the Friends of Syria global group said at a conference in Istanbul last weekend that they recognize the opposition as the “sole representative of the Syrian people.”
Friends of Syria comprises of some 80 countries opposing the authoritarian Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The group includes most countries of the Persian Gulf and Western countries, among them France, the United Kingdom and the United States, all members of the UN Security Council to which Annan reports.
The opposition announced that unspecified Gulf countries will fund its military wing, the Free Syrian Army, BBC said on Monday. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also promised the opposition a grant of $12 million last Sunday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this week denounced plans to arm opponents of Assad as an attempt to “egg on” the protesters.
Annan’s plan is likely to stall Damascus’ successful crackdown on the opposition but hostilities will not end until Assad is ousted from power, analysts contacted by RIA Novosti said.
Keep the Face, Play Pretend
Damascus had to accept Annan’s plan for the sake of appearances because rejecting a proposal by the UN Security Council would have painted it as a hardliner unfit for dialogue, Bartenev said.
But it is just a formal nod by the global community to international norms of conflict settlement, said Alexei Malashenko, an analyst with Moscow Carnegie Center.
“The schizophrenic situation will go on while Assad is scrambling for a way to survive,” Malashenko said.
Lavrov said on Wednesday that the Syrian opposition had no chances of defeating the government forces without foreign intervention such as in Libya, where NATO forces helped oust longstanding ruler Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Assad emerged victorious in the first phase of the civil war, taking control of the big cities and pushing his opponents to the mountains and countryside where they resort to guerilla warfare, said Yevgeny Satanovsky, who heads the Moscow-based Middle East Studies Institute think-tank.
But both Bartenev and Malashenko said that despite military success, Assad’s ouster is imminent in the long term.
“The Free Syrian Army will use the time lag to regroup after successful strikes by Assad’s forces in March,” said Bartenev.
The Syrian president may yet stay in power if he follows the example of the Algerian junta that drowned its opponents in blood during a civil war in 1991-2002, Satanovsky said. But he also conceded that Assad’s opponents “will now be gradually uprooting him.”
No foreign military invasion is likely but stalling hostilities while giving money and diplomatic support to the Syrian opposition is a roundabout way of weakening Assad’s regime, Bartenev said.
Moscow, however, is undermining the possibility of a military intervention by highlighting the negative consequences of a similar invasion in Libya, analysts said. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has demanded on Wednesday that NATO’s alleged war crimes in Libya be investigated and said the Libyan conflict triggered the ongoing coup in the country’s neighbor Mali.
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- free_mind50(no title)04:49, 08/04/2012If the western world cared about the Syrians then they would not have armed them to inflict bloodshed upon their countrymen, as blood
shed brings more blood shed and retaliation. If The opposition really cared about a solution
to the current crisis then they would have not taken up arms and inflicted bloodshed upon their countrymen,after all what are they offering the whole of Syria? Revolution and bloodshed, this
does not sit will with the collective populace of Syria.
If the result of this whole scenario is to bring Syria to its knees, then no upstanding Syrian would accept that, as this would be an attack
on the dignity and identity of Syria on the world stage.
Is this what the opposition is offering the whole of Syria? If so they have failed.
The solution to this crisis is one of a negotiated settlement, where Syria regains its stability on the regional and world stage,and right now the opposition cannot offer this as they have no written legal guarantees from their sponsors, as is the case in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. The whole of Syria knows this and that is why the opposition will fail.
The country will eventually coalesce around the government as a matter of principle to save Syria from balkanization.
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.