Syria Accord seen as Russian victory..waste of time
A United Nations-brokered peace plan for Syria is a victory for Russia because it lacks clear wording that bars Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from taking part in a transition of power, analysts in London and Washington said.
World powers on June 30 backed a plan that doesn’t directly spell out the fate of Assad, who has been battling pro-democracy rebels for 16 months in a conflict resulted in as as many as 17,000 casualties, according to non-governmental organizations. Nations including the U.S. and the U.K. watered down a draft by special envoy Kofi Annan after Russia rejected language banning Assad and members of his inner circle from taking part in a transitional government.
“The latest decision is a compromise by the West and a victory for Russia,” Lilit Gevorgyan, a London-based analyst at IHS Global Insight, said. “There has not been an explicit decision to push Assad out, something that Russia was keen on.”
International efforts to mediate a peace deal have faltered over whether Assad must leave office before a shift in power can begin. The communique from foreign ministers in Geneva — which declares a “firm timetable” for actions without any dates or deadlines — may draw scrutiny over whether the U.S. and allies France and the U.K. yielded too much to get a transition road map accepted by Russia and China.
The accord drew quick criticism from Syrian opposition groups yesterday, who called it ambiguous and vowed not to negotiate with Assad or members of his government, theAssociated Press reported.
BOTH sides in the Syrian conflict have slammed yesterday’s plan for a transitional government in Syria that would include members of the regime, but not the President, Bashar al-Assad.
Russia and China again joined forces to head off a move spearheaded by the US and Britain for a binding resolution forcing Mr Assad from power.
The meeting in Geneva passed a resolution calling for “a transitional government of national unity”, to oversee new elections and draw up a new constitution.
Russia and China agreed a transitional government was desirable but ensured the final form of words let “Syrians” decide on the make-up of that government.
The meeting “failed”, said the ruling party’s newspaper, al-Baath. “The agreement of the taskforce on Syria in Geneva on Saturday resembles an enlarged meeting of the UN Security Council where the positions of participants remained the same.”
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated bluntly after the meeting: “Assad will still have to go. What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power.”
Mrs Clinton said there was “a credible alternative” to the Assad regime.
Her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said he was “delighted” by the resolution.
Russia has been the most steadfast supporter of the Assad regime. Syria provides Moscow with a naval base and is a major importer of Russian weapons.
“How exactly the work on a transition to a new stage is conducted will be decided by the Syrians themselves,” Mr Lavrov said. He added that while several countries at the conference attempted to rule out which groups in Syria could be part of a future government, “we have convinced them that this is unacceptable.”
Kofi Annan, the special envoy for the UN and Arab League, admitted: “I cannot say that I am really happy but I am content with the outcome today.”
the geneva meeting was a joke..leaders deciding what the do when they know they cant implement anything anyway..and after they agree we get hilary saying assad has to go anyway even though they sign an accord saying he will be involved in the process..a waste of time..