Assad knot or the future of Syria?

تم نشره في Sun 1 November / Nov 2015. 10:51 AM

By Fahed Khitan

Disagreement between the participating countries in the Vienna talks, are beyond, in fact, their stance on Assad, or what has become known as the Assad knot.

It is true that there is great disparity in attitudes about the role and the fate of the Syrian president, during and after the proposed transitional phase mainly in the "Geneva 2" statement, but as announced from the points of understanding in Vienna statement, there are significant differences between the contents of the statement and the behavior and attitudes of states on the ground.

There is a fundamental disagreement between the 17 states on the future of Syria. It is not true that they agree on a “secular and democratic Syria”. Democracy in Syria may not guarantee the interests and influence of regional countries in the future; some of the actors and the opposition forces backed by the participating countries in the Vienna talks publicly adopt the rule of law, while other groups calling for an independent self-governing.

In regards to their position against terrorist groups, the definitions vary; alNusra and alSham are resistance groups in the eyes of some of the participating states, terrorist organizations by the definition of others.

It is not clear yet how did the gathered nations agree on action to stop the war in Syria, at a time when Russian planes perform daily strikes throughout Syria, the United States provide opposition groups with weapons, and Saudi Arabia declare daily their intention to support militant groups with weapons and money.

I believe that the dispute between the participating parties in Vienna talks is not limited to Assad only, but also, and even more on the future of Syria, and what will it be post-Assad.

A crucial factor in the future, of the war on terror too, whether waged by the international coalition led by the United States or Russia’s quadruple alliance. All progress achieved in this area will affect the political track to a large extent, and the ability of each party to impose conditions on the negotiations.

The second important factor would be the success of the United Nations in bringing together the Syrian conflicting parties to the negotiating table again, embracing different approaches than those that led to the failure of previous attempts in Geneva.

In a nutshell, the salvation of the Syrians from war and chaos is not imminent. Vienna talks will be long, and might end similarly to other previous efforts, the problem is not between the Syrians today, but between the conflicting forces on Syria.



This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition