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Open Letter: Forward... Towards the Political Solution!
Brothers representatives of all parties of the Syrian opposition.
Brothers representatives of the Syrian government delegation.
Gentlemen in the United Nations Special Envoy’s Team to Syria.
Gentlemen representatives of the countries of the "International Syria Support Group".
Gentlemen representatives of the Guarantor States for the de-escalation and cease-fire zones.
I am addressing you with this open letter to convey to you my concerns about, and my vision of , the current situation reached upon today, and the dangers that can occur, and the importance of the time factor, and the responsibility that all of us, first and foremost the Syrians, should take for stopping the suffering of our people and reaching a state of safety and stability in Syria, and preservation of Syrian territorial integrity and sovereignty.
A diversity of statements and positions have been issued by various opposition figures and the UN special envoy, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, and have also been accompanied by the announcement of a change in positions of some parties and countries considering the reality of today in Syria after seven years since the beginning of the crisis.
I can sum up all of this as follows:
Some opposition figures "insist and adhere to the objectives of the Syrian revolution, which must continue and cannot be undone", and insist that "any deviation from this is considered a betrayal against the blood of the martyrs and the Syrian people."
The representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, asks the forces that influence the regime to "push him to accept negotiations seriously and effectively", and to agree to make "the Sunnis, as census and effectiveness, play a greater role in the administration of the Syrian State and society".
The statements of the heads of state and foreign ministers of different countries indicate that there is a change of their vision regarding the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his role and future, and that this issue is no longer a condition, and that the Syrian crisis is no longer the priority of some countries, and that the Syrians must determine their fate, and some of these international parties have announced that they had stopped the funding and the military aid to the opposition, and others...
In the meantime, there is a diversity of analyses and interpretations, through press articles and TV programs, regarding the fate of the Geneva and Astana Talks; there are those who argue that the Geneva process is over, an there are those who are betting on the path of Astana, and that the fate of the crisis became in the hands of the international consensus, especially the Russian-American consensus, and that the war in Syria has been settled and ended, and international arrangements are now in place that will decide everything, and that the priority now is to eliminate the terrorist forces, ISIS and others, and there are new initiatives, like the French initiative and others. Many press and media analyses and interpretations go on this line.
After this introduction, I want to share with you my vision of the reality of the matter today in Syria, and what should be focused on:
The active figures in the Syrian opposition, who have a role in the process of negotiations which based on the political solution of the Syrian crisis, should abandon all these pseudo-revolutionary concepts and positions, because they are unrealistic, and about seven years of time that have elapsed suffice as a proof that these slogans, and usage of the martyrs’ blood and their mothers’ tears, will not help to get out of the crisis, but will increase and prolong the suffering of the Syrian people, and will threaten the territorial unity of Syria, and even could erupt a real civil war which will result in dozens of times what happened in Syria and its people up to this day.
We have to abandon any ideas about exiting the current crisis if they are of the kind that has to do with the nature of the Syrian society, ethnically, or sectarian-based. We should also not give advice in this direction; this is a very dangerous subject, and here I want to clarify that there is a large category of Syrian society not satisfied with the nature and form of practices of the regime, and want real change and active participation in this change, and there is another category, which cannot be underestimated, supports the current regime, and by the events of recent years, and extremist statements, declarations, and slogans issued by some components of the opposition, the latter category considers any change or waiver of authority as a direct threat to them, and annihilation of them even physically.
This is the case today in Syria, and we, in the Moscow platform, when we took our positions and our policy, were based on our real knowledge of the reality of the situation in the Syrian society, and we always declare that within this vision and this situation, there can be no military resolution of any party, and there is no other option to get out of this crisis except through negotiations and dialogue between the Syrians, because the situation has brought the Syrian society to a gap and a deep rift that cannot be dealt with without international mediation and efforts. Therefore, we, in Moscow platform, have stuck to the Security Council resolution 2254, and we see no other way or solution except through the application of this resolution strictly, without any preconditions, as stated in the text of the resolution. There will be no solution in Syria except through extended joint governance, democratic elections, and international supervision, not only in the transitional period, but also for a period to come after it, which is now difficult to determine. The international supervision should be a guarantee for all political components of the Syrian people first, and other components of national, religious and sectarian.
The time factor is very important, especially after the path of Astana has made progress on the ground, by expanding the de-escalation zones and ceasefire. If the de-escalation track is not accompanied by the start of negotiations and the Geneva process of the political solution and the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254, there will be a great and overall danger on Syria: division, civil war, return of terrorists, deepening the divisive wound of the Syrian society.
The current situation in Syria does not bear any delay of the immediate commencement of practical and specific steps to start and proceed the actual implementation of resolution 2254, which requires everyone, primarily the regime and the opposition, to overcome all obstacles to start implementation of this resolution, namely to abandon any preconditions, either from the regime or opposition. Even more, they should openly declare abiding by the resolution 2254, and accept the United Nations Special Envoy for the Syrian crisis, and his team as the mediator and arbitrator in case of disagreement on the details of the implementation of this resolution.
In addition to this, the opposition is to be represented in one delegation, and if it is not possible to form this delegation until the end of this month, that is before the scheduled date for the new round of Geneva, then the delegation is to be appointed by the United Nations and under the auspices of Russian Federation and U.S.A., in observance of the tenth item of the resolution 2254. After that, a special working group of the United Nations Special Mission to Syria, consisting of professional specialists in international law, would be required to accompany the direct negotiations and supervise their conduct, and serve as arbitrator in the event of disagreement between the delegations of the regime and the opposition, and the decision of the accompanying international team would be binding on the two parties, and the negotiations proceeds on this base.
In addition to all of the above, an international working team should be formed, with Syrian and neutral technical experts, working in parallel with the direct negotiations. It should advance specific suggestions and views, especially regarding the sensitive issues of the governing apparatuses, and what is required to restructure them or apply specific changes to them, concerning, in the first regard, the interest of pushing toward the widest possible participation of the Syrian society in all its diverse political, national, religious and sectarian components, and to consolidate the basis of national reconciliation and tolerance and guarantee rights and equality for all.
The latest analytical report of the World Bank shows that the size of the tragedy and devastation that Syria and the Syrian people live in. It is clear from this report, that without the international assistance and compensation that the Syrian people deserve, it will be very difficult for Syria alone to exit from this tragic situation and to address its subversive effects on society and the structure of the State. And a large share of the blame in this destruction, devastation and tragedy is on the mistakes made by some regional and international countries, which made the situation in Syria very complex. Syria today needs effective and constructive international assistance in all fields, and making Syrians feels this aid and cooperation with them in these circumstances will help to overcome many disorders, and abandon the extreme and abnormal concepts and positions. Without a serious attitude towards the Syrian people in this regard, the tragedy will continue and worsen...
After this letter was written, I read a news story about a child in Yemen who killed five people as a result of a quarrel for a well of water. I was interrupted by a deep reflection on the situation in some of our Arab countries and the generation that is being reared in Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Syria; a whole generation without education, raised in the atmosphere of fighting and extremism and hatred... But despite all of this, it is not too late to heal this generation, if the international community unite, with all its material resources and various institutions. There is no more important task than this for eradicating the terrorist phenomenon from its roots. Let the immediate measures to save Syria from its crisis be the catalyst for the other countries of the region to put an end to the suffering of their peoples and to establish stability and security in them, and rebuild them for the sake of well-being, peace, and safety, in these countries and in the whole world.
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