Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Syrian Peace Talks

 The Geneva 2  peace talks commence shortly to negotiate an end to the Syrian Civil War but who talks for the Syrian people? The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) – an exiled umbrella organization supported by Western and Gulf states that represents a negligible segment of rebel groups on the ground – has agreed to attend the talks only under heavy pressure from their backers.

"The SNC was established on the wrong basis. It was only some expatriates who were living outside Syria, they lost touch with reality in Syria. They didn't know what was going on. They had no connection with the people inside and they came and thought that this revolution will end so quickly like Egypt and Tunisia, so they were not really interested in establishing a real institutional organisation that could work in cohesion with the people inside Syria. They thought that within a few months they will become presidents or ministers so they were not interested in doing anything other than contacting the foreign powers and countries around Syria and they neglected totally the revolutionaries inside the military, the civilian people inside.”

Mohammad Bassam Imadi, a former member of the Syrian National Council and former Syrian ambassador to Sweden.

The big disaster is represented in the Coalition’s inability to find a common language with the revolutionary forces at the domestic scene, to communicate with them on a serious level and to grant them the right of representation and participation. The Coalition actually lacked the will to achieve such communication in the first place. Thus, it was natural for the head of the interim government — which is supposed to operate within Syria — not to be able to get anywhere near the Syrian border. As a result, both the [transitional] government and the Coalition turned into a body that is entirely separate from the Syrian domestic arena.

Mustafa al-Sabbagh, former secretary-general of the Syrian National Coalition

For the vast majority of Syrians who have weathered incredible hardship and tragedy since this conflict began, restoring some semblance of security and stability takes precedent over all else. The priority of these talks should not be about power politics of who rules a future Syria, but be  focused on implementing ceasefires and making available legitimate humanitarian supplies such as food, clothing and medicine.  

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

An estimated 12,000 executed or tortured to death by the Syrian government