U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and British Foreign Minister William Hague in Tunis 24/02/2012. (photo by REUTERS/Jason Reed)

True 'Friends of Syria' Must Assume Responsibility

Author: alzaman Posted February 22, 2012

As Tunisia is preparing to host the meeting of the "Friends of Syria" group in a few days, the conference's organizers demand that the violence in Syria be halted. They support change in Syria along the lines of the Yemeni model, rejecting the Iraqi scenario [i.e. foreign military intervention] which could threaten Syrian unity. However, some suggest sending a joint Arab-UN force to Syria, in an attempt to bring the violence to an end.

SummaryPrint As representatives from a host of countries and political groups prepare to gather at the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis, Fateh Abdelsalam calls for conciliation and dialogue, and says attendees have a “monumental responsibility” to protect Syria from further division and bloodshed.
Author Fateh Abdelsalam Posted February 22, 2012
TranslatorSahar Ghoussoub

These opinions are stemming from sources outside [Syria]: Either from supporters of the regime in Damascus who are vocal in their opposition to military intervention and the Iraqi scenario, or from leaders of the Syrian opposition, which is also based abroad.

However, the real dilemma is to independently and impartially redefine the problem in Syria by raising the following questions: Has Syria reached the point of no return? Have Syrians reached a state where there is no more room for dialogue with the regime, which remains in control at the security, political, military, and institutional levels? Has the bloodshed reached a tipping point, requiring a solution beyond national dialogue?

During the meeting, the Friends of Syria will address all these questions, in an attempt to explore ways of solving the dilemmas and identifying clear answers. Putting an end to dialogue with the regime and encouraging [armed individuals] to engage in the fight against it is a straightforward declaration of war. It is therefore mandatory to avoid inflammatory speeches and conferences that could foment rebellion among Syrians, further pushing them towards the abyss.

The Friends of Syria must assume a monumental responsibility. Perhaps their decisions will turn out to be more dangerous than those that have not seen the light of day at the UN Security Council and the Arab League.

The core issue is to find the response [to the following questions] best suited to heal: Does the option of dialogue still exist, even if it is to no avail? Is war the only alternative, despite all [its dangers, borne of] over-enthusiastic imaginations and rhetoric? Perhaps Turkey and Syria have better insight into the answers [to these questions].

The freedom of the Syrian people is their historic right. However, it has been unintentionally poorly managed, or even crushed and lost.

Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/02/friends-of-syria-between-war-or.html

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