If the objective of the letter despatched via the Syrian competition Upper Negotiation Council (HNC) to the UN Secretary Basic and his unique envoy forty eight hours sooner than the Geneva talks have been set to convene on Friday used to be to specify calls for and stances obviously, then that transfer can be prudent within the context of negotiation technique or even artwork. But when Dr. Riyad Hijab is critical that the HNC has preconditions — akin to the whole implementation of the Geneva Communication, solution 2254, finishing sieges, turning in assist, preventing assaults on civilians, and freeing detainees sooner than keeping talks — then he can be absconding from the Geneva talks on behalf of the HNC or committing a tactical mistake in his negotiation technique.
Certainly, regardless of how justified the calls for of the competition are, politically and militarily, it will have to now not act with out taking inventory of the info. We don’t seem to be in 2012, while the Geneva communication used to be handed prior to being shelved on the Safety Council through each america and Russia. That communication referred to as for the formation of a transitional governing frame with complete government powers together agreed among regime and competition representatives. In fact, then again, america, Russia, and the UN have for all intents and functions changed the verbal exchange with the Vienna procedure underneath other reference frames.
Vienna is largely a Russian-owned procedure concocted in parallel with the Russian army intervention in Syria’s conflict. This has modified equations at more than one ranges, with Russian air moves going hand in hand with Russian diplomatic moves.
We’re within the generation of US capitulation to the Islamic Republic of Iran and complacency against its militias preventing along the Assad regime, all whilst the Obama management claims it needs to peer Assad step down.
At this segment of the Syrian tragedy, what is wanted is a logical and fair assessment of who made guarantees and reneged on them, who escalated then backtracked, and who remained chronic of their loyalty to Assad for strategic calculations and self-hobby similar to Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah — and who splintered within the competition and engaged in inner rivalries. We’re in a spot the place we’ve to make a choice from additional Russian moves on Syrian rebels in improve of Iranian-assisted regime profits at the floor; and heading to Geneva with a pro competition delegation that may compel Russia and the regime in Damascus to enforce ceasefire and that may impose itself in any political deal.
Many will say this can be a name for give up because the UN backs clear of the Geneva Communication in prefer of a unfastened reference framework within the Vienna procedure. Unfastened as a result of the novel variations among the 20 powers concerned within the procedure, together with Saudi Arabia and Iran, in particular over the destiny of Bashar al-Assad: will he stay in energy to run within the elections after 18 months of the political procedure or will he step down underneath a Russian-US-Iranian settlement sooner than?
It may well be stated that it might be ethical chapter for the Syrian competition to be positioned ahead of the selection of both surrendering to US- and UN-sanctioned Russian/Iranian calls for, or being blamed for now not handiest foiling the Vienna procedure, but in addition intensifying the Russian bombardment and the brutal barbaric marketing campaign of the regime forces and allied militias.
The competition would possibly item towards the truth that there isn’t even a touch of the Geneva Communication within the propositions and no assertion of its demise upon the delivery of the Vienna procedure. Extra importantly, the competition would possibly item towards america and global complacency against conflict crimes and ethnic cleaning, demographic engineering plans being it sounds as if a part of the negotiations within the Vienna procedure.
All that is real. However the query is, what will have to differently be performed? If the Syrian competition involves consider that extra compromises ahead of one fait accompli after the opposite will squander all affordable settlements with none go back, then it’s best to advance a way to set priorities and choice plans within the adventure the gamers in Syria reject those priorities.
This calls for issues: A readability of the positions of the more than one competition forces and what kind of those may also be introduced in combination to agree on priorities and calls for. And 2d, readability within the political and army margin of strengthen of the nations backing the competition. To make certain, the anomaly and ambivalence on this recognize fuels polarization and meddling, which each hurt the Syrian competition and its popularity.
The Syrian competition would possibly come to a decision that the tragedy and humanitarian crisis in Syria pressure it to believe possible choices similar to consenting to incomplete offers within the Vienna procedure and going to the Geneva talks, because the UN envoy de Mistura wants, to release negotiations and succeed in a ceasefire throughout the talks.
In different phrases, the Syrian competition would possibly come to a decision that the most suitable option isn’t to offer Assad or Putin the present of boycotting the talks and steer clear of being blamed for foiling the political transition in Syria, and the continuation of Russian-Syrian bombardment with out agreeing to a ceasefire.
If the Syrian competition HNC makes a decision to go to Geneva, the very first thing it has to confess to itself is that this isn’t Geneva-three. It’s Vienna I.
The Syrian competition has the power and the appropriate to take any call for it deems affordable to the talks, so long as it’s practical politically and represents a superb reference aspect. So much surely, the Syrian competition will have to undertake a mindful humanitarian technique to make sure the appalling global forget of Syrian lives does now not proceed. Then again, the primary steps will have to center of attention on unification and skillful negotiation, then on readability within the positions of allies as an alternative of polarization and meddling, and 3rd, on creating a transparent imaginative and prescient and a sensible roadmap.
Political realism calls for working out that the brand new decisive think about Syria is the direct Russian position within the battles in make stronger of the regime at any value.
A few consider Syria might be Russia’s new Afghanistan and that its victories will quickly evaporate. That is imaginable, however the fact at the floor does now not point out the armed competition or ISIS may just flip the tide in the United States-sanctioned and Iranian-Russian supported conflict along the regime in Syria underneath the pretext of preventing terrorism.
Political realism signifies that the United States is pursuing a impartial coverage in Syria all the way through the presidential elections, and this too is a the most important decisive issue.
What senior officers on the UN desirous about this factor are pronouncing is that Staffan De Mistura and his staff are wagering on Russia’s want to withdraw from Syria sooner than it turns into entangled in a quagmire. The global envoy and his group therefore consider that the window is now open to Russian concessions within the framework of the Vienna procedure, and for inventive discussions if the competition delegation proves it’s politically pro.
Sure amendment is imaginable at the floor in gentle of the talks and negotiations, differently the poor amendment will be the intensification of the bombing marketing campaign since the Russian-led camp can be extra loose to take action if the political monitor in Geneva fails.
The choices to be had to the Syrian competition don’t seem to be simple, particularly in gentle of its divisions and the fake guarantees of a few of its backers. Nobody is blameless of what has came about in Syria, in various levels in fact, together with the competition itself.
The location in Syria isn’t considered one of victor as opposed to defeated. Nobody is profitable in Syria whether or not the regime, ISIS, Nusra Entrance, Russia, Iran or Iranian-subsidized militias. Surely, neither is the Syrian competition.
It’s na├»ve to mention that Assad’s survival is a victory for having introduced Russia and Iran on his aspect, with global consent no less than for 18 months according to the Vienna procedure time frame. However there may also be no victory for anyone who became his united states of america right into a magnet for terrorism and militias, and who has given an open invitation to overseas army intervention simply to live on in energy.
Translated through Karim Traboulsi

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