Kassioun Editorial 1088: What Do Direct Negotiations Mean?
After 12 years since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, it cannot be said that there have yet been real direct negotiations have taken place, with the exception of the first and second Moscow meetings, which did not last nor was anything built thereon as should have.
The moment direct negotiations are launched will not mean that the solution has already begun. The solution will start with the formation of the transitional governing body (TGB), which is something different from the delegations negotiating its formation. However, merely starting direct negotiations means that the country has been put on the path leading it to a solution through the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254 in order to end the tragedy and restore the Syrian people’s unity and sovereignty over their unified land. This is the direction towards which all patriotic efforts should go.
The importance of direct negotiations to end the Syrian crisis, and to initiate a political solution and implement UNSC Resolution 2254, stems from the fact that it is the only way towards a solution. The first thing direct negotiations means is an actual, and not only verbal recognition by all the Syrian parties of Resolution 2254. It also means the Syrian parties’ recognition of each other, without which it is impossible to lay the foundation for the reunification of the Syrian people, and to enable them at the end of the transitional period to determine their own destiny. This self-determination will be through free and fair elections that are not controlled by the state apparatus, all those carrying arms, states seeking influence, nor political money. Additionally, direct negotiations means reducing the tension and beginning to pave the way towards restoring the unity of the Syrian people.
The main subject of direct negotiations, which would be between qualified and broadly representative sides without exclusion or exclusivity, will be the mechanisms for implementing Resolution 2254, primarily the TGB. This would start with agreeing on the TGB’s definition, its powers and working mechanisms, and clearly defining those powers and securing what is legally needed therefor, including a constitutional amendment if necessary.
The tasks of the TGB produced by direct negotiations, are the same as the provisions of Resolution 2254, including resolving the dossiers of the detainees and forcibly disappeared, and IDPs and refugees, as well as the various humanitarian files, laying the foundations for and starting reconstruction. These tasks with also include the two major ones of constitutional reform and preparing for elections.
The constitutional reform process requires, in the current circumstances and after the Constitutional Committee was formed and its work stopped, reforming that Committee as one of the tasks of the TGB. This requires reforming its composition so that it includes everyone without exclusion or exclusivity, and by transferring its work to Damascus with guarantees that the TGB undertakes primarily through the powers it has. This will also require the help of states that are stakeholders in moving towards a political solution, especially the Astana tripartite, and with it, China and those Arab states that will engage positively towards a solution and an end to the crisis and conflict.
While real direct negotiations have not yet started, the various Syrian parties and patriotic Syrians in general must begin seriously preparing for it. This is mainly because the horizons revealed by international and regional developments – and implicitly the accelerating decline in the West’s capabilities, in parallel with the expansion of the rapprochement possibilities of the region’s countries within the pursuit of a multipolar world, and against US interest and Zionist sabotage – clearly show that the conditions for ending the Syrian crisis, by ending the extremists’ manipulation abilities by primarily depending on the West, will soon be more realistic and tangible.