Mon, September 24, 2012
World > Middle East > 2012 Syrian Situation

Will the new envoy usher a silver lining in war-torn Syria?

2012-08-20 01:58:12 GMT2012-08-20 09:58:12(Beijing Time)

By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English

The first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr has done little to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

107 people died in the country during the past Sunday. Most of the victims were from the provinces of Deir ez-Zor and Deraa in the north-east and south-west of the country.

A number of Syrian cities witnessed street demonstrations of opposition supporters, which took place after the holiday prayers. Their members demanded that President Bashar al-Assad step down.

That said, the heads of the states who are interested in sooner settlement of the Syrian conflict have welcomed the appointment of the new special UN envoy on Syria. Beijing, London, Washington and Moscow are all confident that the professionalism and authority of the Algerian diplomat Lahdar Brahimi will help the global community stop military actions in the region.

During his long political career, Algerian diplomat Lahdar Brahimi, who is to replace UN envoy on Syria Kofi Annan, was a revolutionary who fought for the impendence of his country, an ambassador in a number of Arab and European countries and Algeria’s Foreign Minister. This is the man who has gained international recognition as a diplomat.

No one argues that Brahimi is a respectable figure but everyone is now wondering what position he will take, political analyst Stanislav Taraseov says.

Kofi Annan has fulfilled his function. He made a principal six-step plan of the conflict’s settlement which was backed by China and Russia. But the problem is that the plan was blocked by the West and first of all by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is hard to say whether the new envoy will stick to the six points of Annan’s plan.

Experts note that Brahimi will have to start working from scratch without references to Kofi Annan’s experience.

The situation in Syria is rapidly changing. The country’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been suspended. The mandate of the UN mission of monitors in Syria is expiring and will be replaced by the UN coordination office in Damascus. It is important to remember that military actions are continuing in Syria. In this situation the new special envoy simply has no time for warming up and must get down to business immediately.

But the problem is if the Arabian politicians played to the flute of the West completely, if they complied with all the wishes of their Western partners, that it would not only take Syria but all of  them as well to the brink of a tragedy,

Today is Syria and tomorrow will be Iran. But, after tomorrow, there may be the turn of Saudi Arabia. Who knows?

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