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Why Lebanon's Taif Accord Is No Road Map for Syria

Syria is not Lebanon, and the Lebanese Taif Accord shouldn't be a model for a solution to the crisis there, even if the US and Russia back such a sectarian-power-sharing plan, writes Amal Mudallali. The Lebanese arrived at that answer when both sides were convinced they couldn't win the war. In Syria, both sides are convinced they're winning.
A boy sits at his parents' house, damaged by shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Talbiseh, near Homs August 31, 2012. Picture taken August 31, 2012.   REUTERS/Shaam News Network/Handout (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The Syrian stalemate is pushing the outside powers to find a workable compromise before it is too late to climb out of the abyss. Word from Lebanon and France is that the Russians are “seduced” by the Lebanese Taif Agreement which ended the civil war, and are interested in a Syrian Taif.

This is very bad news for Syria. The Taif Accords in Lebanon ended the military confrontation between the Lebanese through a confessional power-sharing formula among the different sects and stopped the war. But it did not offer the country a basis for a stable and workable democracy. It is a system that inherently recreates crises and keeps the country in a perpetual civil war.

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