Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is the Annan Plan fake?

I am getting increasingly the impression that the Annan Plan is fake. That just as the Libya resolution it was proposed by a deceitful American diplomacy in order to achieve goals that are completely different from what the plan at first face proposes.

The first point of the Annan Plan is negotiations. Yet Annan hasn’t made a single move in that direction. There have been no talks, the opposition hasn’t appointed delegates and Annan hasn't even asked for them. The excuse is that there is to much violence. But there is nothing in the plan that makes talks conditional on a well functioning truce. One might well argue the opposite: that talks are needed to establish the trust needed for a truce.

The plan specifies a number of elements for a truce. But Annan has taken one of those elements – withdrawal of heavy arms from the cities – and claims now that that could be implemented separately, as a gesture of good faith by the government. But this would mean surrendering the cities to the opposition and seeing government supporters expelled from them or even killed.

The Annan Plan was brought to us as an alternative to the US position that rejected any talks and demanded that Assad should resign first. When we look at how Annan is implementing it it looks like a carbon copy of that position.

The conclusion: It looks like Annan doesn't care about a negotiated solution. He is now just buying time while the US and its allies keep up their efforts to strengthen Syria's opposition. I expect him one day to say - feigning surprise - that a peaceful solution is no longer possible and an intervention is needed. Annan discussed that scenario probably already with US diplomats before his plan was adopted. His plan for a Syria Contact Group looks like another trick to circumvent the Security Council.

Can we please replace Annan with someone who does care about negotiations??!

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