Syria Agrees to Plan Proposed By Arab League
Syria accepted on Wednesday a plan drafted by the Arab League to end the conflict in the streets, to remove armored cars and implement reforms, a move intended to end seven months of bloody conflict in this Arab country. Syrian opposition is very skeptical that the plan may actually work. An activist that is member of the Syrian National Council explained that the implementation of the reforms requested by the Arab League would lead to the end of the Assad regime, and added that there is little chance that incumbent president is eager to let it happen.
Qatari foreign minister demanded that the implementation of the promised reforms be made quickly, in spite of the fact that Assad has promised on different occasions to end violence and used different deadlines he was given to attempt to crush the rebellion, an action which seems impossible at this point.
The Arab League proposal comes after a meeting in Cairo of the organization two weeks ago, on which occasion the expulsion of Syria was brought into question. The members voted in the end to give him two more weeks to end.
About 200 people are believed to have been killed since then, as Assad attempted to make sure no opposition to his rule existed anymore. The move of the Arab League is believed by experts to be one of avoiding that another Arab leader is toppled the way Qaddafi was.
By this agreement Syria agrees to end all violence, to withdraw all armored vehicles from the streets, to release all the prisoners and to engage in a dialogue with the opposition. Furthermore, it is to allow foreign journalists and human rights activists to come and assess the reports about the deaths caused over the last months. The timeline is once again two weeks.
Activists on social networks have called for great rallies in the cities of the country in order to test the commitment of the government to these changes. Dozens were protesting in front of the Arab League headquarters against Assad’s regime.
The place where negotiations between the regime and opposition would be held was not made public yet, but the Arab League suggested Cairo. The US State Department said it would wait to see what the specifics of the agreement was, but they reminded that Assad had an entire history of broken promises.
Analysts remind that the Arab League proposed Assad a similar plan a month ago, one the regime refused. The question is why did he accept it now. And the answer is believed to be linked to the need of the regime to operate in the field hoping to actually finish what it had started.
The Arab League has no specification as to what may happen if the Syrian regime fails to meet the two weeks timeline.
In August, the Turkish Prime Minister compelled Assad to make a Syrian promise and with a similar timeline. When he failed to do so, the Turkish PM announced that Assad was a man not to be trusted.
Then the UN Human Rights agency had a resolution drafted against him, and he promised to allow the international observers to see what happened there. The observers never got a chance to do their job.
Then it was the turn of the Russians and Chinese go protect him against the UN Security Council resolution, but also to demand him to implement changes. A few days ago a Chinese official said that the situation in Syria was unacceptable.
Assad’s regime is considered responsible for the deaths of some 3,000 people since the rebellion started. Still, it manages to gather tens of thousands at the pro-governmental cities to protest in favor of the president.11