Obama's re-election meets with mixed reactions in Syria

2012-11-08 22:00:08 GMT2012-11-09 06:00:08(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

DAMASCUS, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Some Syrian analysts believe that no breakthrough would be achieved during the U.S. President Barack Obama's second term in office concerning the months-long Syrian crisis, while others expect more U.S. efforts to reach a political solution to the prolonged conflicts.

Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday and won another four year in office.

Issam Khalil, a political analyst in Syria, echoed concerns that there would be no major turnabouts in Washington's policies toward Syria despite Obama's victory.

He told Xinhua that the U.S. policy is based on a "long-term strategy" and therefore "the victory of this or that candidate will not have much impact on the traditional American attitude toward the Middle East, including Syria."

For his part, George Jabour, another political analyst, told Xinhua that the Syrian file has been on Obama's agenda since the crisis erupted 20 months ago, indicating that the U.S. policy toward Syria was "wary."

"The U.S. stance could be summed up that Washington supports the Syrian opposition but it still has reservations about arming it out of fear that extremists might be the winner in the outstanding conflict in the country," he said.

Obama has demanded the departure of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad, yet has ruled out military assistance to the opposition or U.S. military actions such as airstrikes or enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria.

Jabour voiced concerns that the Syrian crisis might drag on, noting that Obama can work, along with other international parties, to find a suitable political solution to the crisis.

Some Syrians believe that the United States will work with Russia, Syria's main ally, to reach a solution to the crisis and bear down on all opposition groups to sit around the negotiations table, in the aftermath of the U.S. elections.

Recently, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked that the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition umbrella in exile, failed to effectively represent the diverse opposition groups.

Assad has warned, in an interview with a Russian TV, that if Syria were to be invaded by foreign troops "the price would be too big" for the rest of the world.

His remarks reinforced predictions that Russia and the United States would soon come to an understanding on the Syrian crisis, in a way that can, as traditionally, guarantee their interests and leverage in the region.

On Wednesday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad called on Obama to "take advantage of the fatal errors that occurred in the Arab world during the past two years... and to find out just solutions especially in the Middle East."

Meanwhile, in an editorial, Al-Baath newspaper of the ruling Baath party raised expectations that Obama's second term would see an international agreement on a political resolution of the Syrian crisis.

Mahmoud Mereii, a member of the opposition National Coordination Body, told Xinhua Obama's victory might help launch a serious dialogue with the Russian leadership in order to enforce the Geneva agreement, which was reached by all world powers in June and stipulated that a transitional governing body must be formed on the basis of mutual agreement between the Syrian government and the opposition.

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