Arab League Fails to Suspend Syria
Bashar al-Assad won another international victory on Sunday as the Arab League voted in favor of keeping Syria as a member of this body. The meeting held on Sunday had had as purpose the suspension of the restive state, and failed to realize this purpose.
In exchange, the Arab countries spoke again, like the Russians and Chinese before them, and the Western nations before the Russians and the Chinese, of a need to create a dialogue in Syria, so that the authorities in this country may come together with the protestors and compromise on the main differences.
A “national dialogue” was set by the members of the Arab League to be held in two weeks but it was not clear whether the Syrian authorities responded to this proposition.
The foreign minister of Qatar, one of the six country to demand the emergency meeting, proposed that the dialogue be held in Cairo in 15 days, and expressed hope that al-Assad would agree to participate in it.
Syria’s ambassador said that his country would respond positively and openly to all sincere and effective Arab proposals aimed at helping his country end the crisis. The ambassador added that the Syrian government would propose an initiative to reinforce democracy, reform and human rights, a promise Bashar al-Assad had made two weeks ago, when he told the Chinese and the Russians that a new constitution would be drafted by the end of the year. By the end of last week, he said that the constitution would be ready in four months.
Earlier this year, in August, Bashar al-Assad told Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was visiting at the time Damascus with a final message from his prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that within two weeks the crackdown would stop, and the negotiations would be launched.
Though many anti-Assad demonstrators were gathered outside the headquarters in Cairo to support the vote on suspending Syria, the decision could not be made, because there were not enough countries to vote in favor, so that two thirds of the votes be met.
Even though the Persian Gulf members states, who already downgraded ties with Damascus, voted in favor, there were countries like Yemen, where Arab Spring is present as well, who voted against suspending Syria.
The Arab League suspended earlier this year Libya, as the international community was moving against Muammar al-Qaddafi. The suspension of Libya was seen at the time as a sign of regional acceptance of NATO’s intervention in the restive country.
Military intervention in Syria is an option politicians don’t even consider, though some experts and analysts consider that it would be the only thing that would make a difference, since it is clear for many that Assad is not ready to listen to international advise.
A military intervention would meet the opposition of China and Russia, which already protested it by veto in the United Nations Security Council, where it had been proposed a resolution draft that would have condemned the repression on the people.
Russian ambassador to the UN said on that occasion that Russia was not about to vote a resolution whose language could easily be construed as a form of approval of an intervention at military level. The Libyan example, the Russian diplomat said, could serve as an example.
China also warned that a sanction against Syria would only make things worse, and would not be the solution of the crisis in this country.
After they drew severe criticism from the European nations, Russia and China felt compelled to warn Bashar al-Assad that he should end the crackdown and begin talks with the opposition.
Over the weekend, the United Nations warned that Syria was slowly sliding into civil war, as 25 out of 36 victims last week were Syrian military troops, which means that the number of defectors from the Syrian army has raised to such an extent that the possibility of a civil war is very serious right now, especially considering the ethnic fabric of the country.
The Arab League is yet to decide its own course of action in case Damascus fails to present itself for discussions in two weeks.11