Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Negotiate with Syria

Negotiate with Syria


I should like to draw attention to my post of 11 March 2012 (Assad and Syria); it does not seem to have been overtaken by events, and is today (24th November 2015) as relevant as ever.

Last year (23 Nov 2014) I wrote an open letter to Assad (shown below) which still seems to me a workable approach to negotiations between the current Syrian government and the UN or NATO, or whoever thinks they should be consulted concerning the internal affairs of Syria.

Dear President Bashar Al Assad,

If I were a member of your negotiating team I would be inclined to argue:
[1] The Assad regime is still the legal (and de facto) government of Syria;
[2] It subscribes to the UN charter, and believes that the charter explicitly limits the interference by other countries in Syrian internal affairs;
[3] Syria has conceded that chemical weapons are very widely abhorred and that those have been voluntarily eschewed by your government;
[4] You warn against the view that the democratic form of government, evolved over the last 300 years in certain Atlantic countries, is necessarily successful in other countries;
[5] You could point out that the legal ‘right’ of Cromwell to kill King Charles I, or of the USA to usurp the governance of Hawaii, rested on the power of arms, and was in no way democratic;
[6] You would like the United Nations to accept the legitimacy of your regime "as being the government most favoured among the alternatives by the people of Syria";
[7] You would like the support of the UN in preventing arms trafficking and the infiltration of insurgents across Syrian borders;
[8] To obtain this co-operation you concede that an internationally supervised plebiscite be held to obtain the views of legitimate Syrian nationals to confirm (or negate) the legitimacy of the Al Assad government.

Yours sincerely, Ian West

BANBURY, OX17 2NB,


No comments: