Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Chinese don't get it either on Syria

According to Xinhua the Chinese have during their discussion with Brahimi proposed a four points plan for Syria that starts with an armistice and is followed by the Syrian parties - under guidance of Brahimi and the international community - writing a roadmap for transition.

It is the same madness that has made Brahimi's mission such a poor performance!

Note that they don't even use the word "negotiations". That is because there will be no real negotiations. Just as with the Ahtisaari Plan for Kosovo and later Cooper's "technical" discussions the plan for Syria is basically an international dictat. But you can't solve distrust with a dictat: only open talks can do that. We have seen that in Kosovo where the Ahtissaari Plan did nothing to improve the inter-ethnic relations and we will see that again in Syria.

The distrust and fear between the parties in Syria is almost proverbial. Many rebel fighters fear they will have to spend the rest of their life in exile if they don't win. Many Alawites fear discrimination or even expulsion if Assad is driven out. The Christians aren't much more optimistic - having seen what the Iraqi colleagues of the rebels did to their co-religionists there. Only open talks between the parties can really address this distrust.

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