August 16, 2013
Written by Saurav Raj Pant (member of IPWG)
The utmost anticipated high level diplomatic talks in Geneva whose foremost objective is to end war in Syria have to deal with several incongruities. The Russian and the US officials deviate on the structure of the proposed conference basically on who will be going to represent the opposition forces and whether Iran would be playing some role in the Geneva(Now, dubbed as Geneva 2, after the ‘flop show’ of Geneva talks last summer) . The triumph of Hassan Rowhani in the Iran presidential election 2013 hints at the changed outlook of moderate and liberal Iranian Politics. This is also very substantial in course of dealing and involvement of Iran in Syria. Rowhani who is popularly labelled as a ‘conservative liberal’ in the Iranian politics and former lead nuclear negotiator for the West and the US has outstanding path records in working with different factions of the society. But will he remain as a moderate politician forever in course of dealing with West, the US and embolden Sectarian violence in Syria? Perilous situation are even coming to the edge when most Muslim youths holding Western Passports are being truly radicalized and travelling to Syria to participate in the ongoing armed conflict. This situation has posed serious concerns to the West and the US intelligence position regarding suspicious elements in the national security spectrum.
The projected gatherings of US &West-aided ‘Friends of Syria’ opposition and Russia backed Assad Regime, possibly identified as the ‘new settlement and pass out ‘ for the ongoing two-year bloody conflict in the Syria. This conflict has now been mainly diverted to Sectarian rooted violence. The miscarriage of Geneva 2 could be catastrophic to Syria and its involving parties. Recently, the option came as the ace tactics (peaceful diplomatic intervention) to address the Syrian Crisis. But the sincerity of these talks are still being debated as a prolonged tedious exercise through Moscow, Tehran and Damascus on one side and the Western nations led by the US on the other side, proposing the game to be turned out as victory in terms of diplomacy for each of them. It is worth mention that in the Assad regimes, Moscow and Tehran have the pivotal roles and may hold the ‘switch’ in the Syrian conflict.
The scheduled talks are also the road-map of the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland. This summit which had gathered Obama and his counterparts where they mutually agreed to urge the immediate call for the Peace Conference in Geneva. This initiation also gained broad consensus after the serious observation of the story made by the Lebanese Shiite dominated organization Hezbollah which led the intervention on the Lebanese border town Qusair scaling- up the motions of the war in the favour of Damascus and its allies.
But the diplomatic outlook of Russia, the US and the West is still indistinct. The role played by the US in terms of addressing the Syrian uprising seems to have been lacking in foresight. This has obstructed the obligatory global role of the US after 9/11 in a way to earmark the Civil liberates and mitigating the authoritarian regimes. Arms supply and no-fly zone strategies taken by the Western powers and the US to aid the opposition forces in their efforts to de-throne the Assad regime has created barriers in realizing negotiations between the Assad regime and the opposition. Due to the backing of the Lebanon Shiite organization Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran, the Syrian uprising is now prolonged. As a result the West and the US appear to be bungling to withstand their opposition against the Assad regime.
What I perceive is that the Syrian uprising has escaped from the power center control and it is hard to identify the successor to the Assad regime. The comprehensive political environment after Geneva 2 may have to face the loud dominance of Jihadist, sectarian in contrast to the idyllic-secular and democratic values that are sought to be instilled. The design of the game is yet not clear on how to score goal or say that there had been many ‘twist and turns’ in the battleground.
Notably, Syrian Foreign Minister Muallem has made a statement of not bowing down in front of the opposition by handing over power but instead exploring possibilities for a national partnership government. On the contrary, Syrian opposition forces have demanded the departure of Assad and Hezbollah led Government fighters as their basic conditions for the commencement of the talks. These polarized stances may prove to be the main obstacle to Geneva 2. This has openly threatened the 2012 plan designed by the former peace negotiator to Syria; Kofi Annan known as the “Geneva Communiqué”. Geneva Communiqué labels the formation of transitional government involving opposition leaders and government representatives that would help to draft the new democratic constitution.
Inside the US, the options for Geneva 2 or fuelling the rebels has created diverse opinions on addressing the Syrian issues namely how to cope with war as witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan which resulted in serious economic, social and political deterioration for the US. But, at this time when several US diplomatic cables have been leaked, many of them may vote to some kinds of military led assistance. Ironically, they may succeed in the efforts they used. But the crux of the crisis is of indulgence of sectarian conflict, making uncertain the destination of the Syria. And it is crafting more vulnerable to the Arab World.
Despite continuance of major efforts on arming the rebels the play makers are sticking to their own diplomatic interests. What will be the bottom line of the success of Geneva 2?
Author : ipwg