Islamic summit: How best to end civil war in Syria?
- by DR. ABDUL RUFF
As NATO-UNSC veto terror syndicates continue to terrorize the global Muslims with perpetual terror wars in energy rich and strategically important Muslim nations and most of Muslim rulers also kill Muslims and loot the national resources, Islamic summit opened in Cairo on Wednesday the 07th Feb 2013. Leaders of Muslim nations called for a negotiated end to Syria's civil war, thrusting Egypt's new Islamist president to center stage amid turbulence at home.
In a keynote address, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi called on "the ruling regime" in Damascus to learn the lessons of history and not put its interests above those of the nation, saying that rulers who did so were inevitably finished. Mursi urged all OIC members to support the Syrian opposition's efforts to unite and bring about change. The summit of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation opened on a day when the assassination of a leading Tunisian opposition politician highlighted the fragility of "Arab Spring" democratic revolutions in North Africa.
With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad making an ice-breaking visit to Egypt, the first by an Iranian president since the 1979 Islamic revolution, the two-day meeting was focusing on how to stop the bloodshed in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad counts Tehran as one of his last allies. Ahmadinejad earlier told Egyptian journalists there could be no military solution and he was encouraged that the Syrian government and opposition were moving towards negotiations to end a conflict in which at least 60,000 people have died. His foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Egypt's state news agency he believed the Syrian government was ready to negotiate with the opposition. "We are optimistic," he added after the meeting with the leaders of Turkey and Egypt.
Syria crisis topped the debate of the summit. Syria was not present at the Islamic summit after being suspended from the OIC last August. The Syrian opposition said it had not received an invitation and would not be attending. On the summit sidelines, the leaders of Egypt, Turkey and Iran gathered for talks on the Syria crisis. The Iranian foreign minister came out of the meeting expressing optimism about the prospects for a resolution. The head of the Syrian opposition, in Cairo but not at the summit, told BBC Arabic that Iran was making the decisions in Damascus, and gave the Syrian government until Sunday to release women detainees or else his offer of talks would lapse. Heavy fighting erupted in Damascus as rebels launched an offensive against Assad's forces, breaking a lull in the conflict, opposition activists said. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki canceled his trip to the Cairo meeting after Shokri Belaid, a staunch secular opponent of the moderate Islamist government, was shot dead outside his home, triggering street protests. Opposition Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz Alkhatib said Iran was the real power in Damascus. Alkhatib had on Sunday offered to meet Assad's ceremonial deputy, Farouq al-Shara, for peace talks if the authorities released thousands of prisoners. But in his interview, he said his proposal for talks with Shara had been rejected. He demanded the release of all women detainees by Sunday, or else his initiative "would have been broken", the BBC reported.
State institutions are collapsing, Islamist groups are gaining ground, more and more Syrians are dying, and there is no breakthrough in sight. Theirs is however the voice of Syria's intelligentsia, who oppose foreign military intervention and favour a ceasefire and a negotiated solution. The motives behind Israel's attack on Syria are still obscure. The attack was also a reminder that Syria's turmoil is having dangerously unpredictable consequences across the region. Underlining the deep regional divisions over the Syria conflict, Saudi Arabia, a key supporter of the Syrian rebels and a member of an "Islamic Quartet" formed by Mursi last August to try to broker a solution, did not attend the Syria crisis meeting in Cairo, diplomats said. Saudi Crown Prince Salman told the summit the Syrian regime was "committing ugly crimes" against its people. He said the U.N. Security Council, which has so far been paralyzed by Russian and Chinese opposition to sanctions, should act to "finalize the transition of power".
The UN Security Council remains blocked as Western states urge for a "political solution," which implies the unilateral surrender of the Assad government, while Russia still urges for "national dialogue." However, the situation may be shifting on the ground. Finding a viable political solution in Syria is all the more urgent as the region becomes increasingly destabilized. Israel's attack on Syria shows the dangerous and unpredictable consequences of continued fighting and a deadlock political situation. The leader of the Syrian National Coalition - which long called for Bashar Al-Assad's removal as a precondition for negotiations - now advocates for talks with the president, along with the support of the UN/Arab League mediator who is working towards a ceasefire.
Undoubtedly, the developments win Libya influenced the opposition in Syria to seek for regime change. The oppositionists who favour negotiations won out in Geneva, calling for talks on a new constitution and a transitional government. Since military victory is a delusion, it argued, only an imposition of a puppet regime is a must and thus Syrian National Coalition depends on foreign support alone. West finds it difficult to kill Assad and control the resources and state by a puppet regime quickly enough. .
Two years on since the U.S., EU, Turkish and Qatari adoption of a “regime change” in Syria by force, on the lines of the “Libyan scenario,” the first military option has failed to materialize.With the legitimate Syrian government gaining the upper hand militarily on the ground, the inability of the rebels is visible to “liberate” even one city, town or enough area in the countryside to be declared a “buffer zone” or to host the self-proclaimed leadership of opposition in exile.
Such intervention would only promise more of the same, prolonging the military conflict, shedding more of Syrian blood, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis, multiplying the numbers of those displaced inside the country and the Syrian refugees abroad, postponing an inevitable political solution, and significantly rallying more Syrians in support of the ruling regime in defending their country against the Israeli occupier of their Syrian Golan heights, thus isolating the rebels by depriving them from whatever support their terrorist tactics have left them.
All the “Friends of Syria” have been on record that they were doing all they could to enforce a “buffer zone” inside Syria; they tried to create it through Turkey in northern Syria, through Jordan in the south, through Lebanon in the west and on the borders with Iraq in the east, but they failed to make it materialize. They tried to enforce it by a resolution from the UN Security Council, but their efforts were aborted three times by a dual Russian – Chinese veto. They tried, unsuccessfully so far, to enforce it outside the jurisdiction of the United Nations by arming an internal rebellion, publicly on the payroll of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, logistically supported by Turkey and the U.S., British, French and German intelligence services and spearheaded mainly by the al-Qaeda – linked Al-Nusra Front, a rebellion focusing on the peripheral areas sharing borders with Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, after the failure of an early attempt to make the western Syrian port city of Latakia on the Mediterranean play the role the city of Benghazi played in the Libyan “change of regime.”
Now, Israel has stepped in the conflict, publicly for the first time, to try its hands to enforce a “buffer zone” of its own in an attempt to succeed where all the “Friends of Syria” have failed.
Israel is considering creating a buffer zone reaching up to ten miles inside Syria, modelled on a similar zone it created in southern Lebanon in 1985. Israel in fact have been paving the way materially on the ground for an Israeli – created buffer zone. Earlier, in a much less publicized development, Israel allowed the UN-monitored buffer zone between Syria and the Israeli – occupied Syrian Golan Heights to be overtaken by the “Islamist” Syrian rebels. The Syrian army doesn’t have any interest in provoking Israel,” because “Syria has enough problems.” However it would be anybody’s guess to know for how long Syria could tolerate turning the UN monitored demilitarized buffer zone, with Israeli closed eyes, into a terrorist safe haven and into a corridor of supply linking the rebels in Lebanon to their “brethren” in southern Syria.
More importantly however, such an Israeli intervention risks a regional outburst if not contained by the world community or if it succeeds in inviting a reciprocal Syrian retaliation. Both Syrians and Israelis were on record in the aftermath of the Israeli raid that the bilateral “rules of engagement” have already changed.
Like USA, Israel also wants regime change in Mideast, now in Syria and is preparing for “dramatic changes” in Syria. Israel sued the bogus claim of chemical weapons in Syria to justify the their unwarranted raid . On last December 8 UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said there were “no confirmed reports” Damascus was preparing to use them. More likely Israel is either trying to escalate militarily to embroil an unwilling United States in the Syrian conflict, in a too late attempt to pre-empt a political solution, out of a belief that the fall of the Al – Assad regime will serve Israel’s strategy. But Both USA and Russia seem to have told Israeli military establishment that escalating militarily at a time of political de-escalation of the military solution in Syria will not secure a seat for Israel in any forum. Israeli terrorism can only help in escalating humanitarian crisis and the rising death toll in Syria. This is the message that the Israeli regime has for reference. The Israeli raid sends a message that the military option could yet be pursued. No surprise then that the frustrated Syrian rebels are loosing ground, momentum and morale. The option of a political solution is left as the only way forward and as the only way out of the bloodshed and the snowballing humanitarian crisis.
Egypt is taking over the OIC chair at a time of upheaval in the Arab world and sectarian tension between the main branches of Islam. President Mursi is also grappling with sustained protests at home by liberal and leftist opponents who accuse him of seeking to monopolize power.
Post Mubarak era Egypt has made President Mursi the key leader of Mideast. Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, sought to project his country as the leader of the Islamic world in his speech, seven months after becoming Egypt's first democratically elected head of state. He told the assembled kings, presidents and prime ministers that the "glorious January 25 revolution" that toppled Egypt's autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 "forms the cornerstone in the launching of this nation to new horizons of progress". On Tuesday, he embraced Ahmadinejad and gave him a red-carpet airport welcome, but his foreign minister hastened to assure Gulf Arab states that Egypt would not sacrifice their security in opening to Tehran. The Gulf states – not normally big aid-givers – came up with most of the cash to fund a UN appeal for $1.5bn to help homeless Syrians in the country and in refugee camps abroad. Britain added $50m.
A communiqué drafted by OIC foreign ministers blames Assad's government for most of the slaughter and urges it to open talks on a political transition. Thieu diplomats said Iran had objected to the wording and it might be toned down to spread responsibility more evenly. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said the statement had to be adopted by consensus and would stress the need for dialogue and a political solution. The draft text also urged the Syrian opposition to speed up the creation of a transitional government "to be ready to assume responsibility in full until the completion of the desired political change process". the communiqué urged President Assad and the Syrian regime to show wisdom and call for serious dialogue to take place between the national coalition of the Syrian revolution, opposition forces, and representatives of the Syrian government committed to political transformation in Syria and those who have not been directly involved in any form of oppression...
Maybe Assad thinks it is better to die than lose power by surrendering to West backed opposition bully. neither Assad is ready for polls or nominate a reliable replacement. Like all other Muslims rulers he also perhaps thinks he is a permanent ruler and none can remove him power.
Issue is larger and deeper than removing Assad. .
[Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal, Educationist, Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Specialist on State Terrorism ; Global columnist, Commentator on world affairs , Expert on Mideast Affairs, Analyst on sport fixings , Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Former university Teacher; website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/write
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د. عبد راف
Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by CIA & other anti-Islamic agencies.Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces.Regimes often resort to state terrorism. Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than "terrorism" Fake democracies have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices. Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using all sorts of criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. Humanity has a right to know the truth. Muslim blood is cheap...