CONTRA DICTION : THE WAR CRIMINAL SETS THE CONDITIONS FOR ‘PEACE’
Scott Lucas – Eaworldview – 31.10.2013 – President Assad has used a meeting with United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to set conditions for the regime’s participation in an international conference in Geneva.
Assad told Brahimi on Wednesday in Damascus that “foreign intervention” for the Syrian opposition and insurgency must be halted before the conference can be held: “Putting an end to support for the terrorists and pressuring the states that support them is the most important step to prepare… for dialogue….The success of any political solution is linked to putting an end to support funnelled to terrorist groups.”
The President continued, “The Syrian people are the only ones who have the right to decide on Syria’s future, and any solution or agreement must have the acceptance of the Syrian people, and reflect their desires.”
Brahimi’s meeting with Assad was his first since December 2012. It follows the envoy’s discussions with the Friends of Syria group, which has backed the opposition, and with Syria’s ally Iran.
The US and Russia proposed the Geneva conference in April but it has been repeatedly delayed amid the opposition’s insistence that Assad commit to giving up power. Washington and Moscow, after their agreement to obtain the handover of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks, have made a renewed effort in the last six weeks for the meeting.
The Local Coordination Committees claim 59 people were killed on Wednesday, including 18 in Damascus and its suburbs and 13 in Aleppo Province.
The Violations Documentation Center records that 77,194 people have been killed since the start of the conflict in March 2011, an increase of 173 since Wednesday. Of the dead, 57,404 are civilians, a rise of 160 from yesterday.
About the Author – Scott Lucas Scott Lucas is a professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA