First, I do not like to use the NYT as an authority on anything….their opinion pages are diverse and good….but the paper itself is not a reliable source of information…
Next, Jimmy Carter….I know that the GOP wants to demonize him every chance they get….but he was probably the most pious president we have ever had…..his work internationally is unprecedented…..he has worked for better understanding among nations without rest…..his choice was to make the world a better place…not to see how much money one could make by pretending to care.
Carter has taken on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and now has waded into the Syrian conflict with a possible plan to end this thing….
The United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia should join with Russia and Iran to develop a peace plan for Syria.
Jimmy gave us his take on Assad….but what does the rest of the world think……
United Kingdom – The United Kingdom reaffirmed its willingness to accept a temporary role for Assad in a transitional administration in exchange for a successful settlement to the conflict.
- Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: 04 OCT – “If the price for [ending the Syrian Civil War] is that Assad will remain as titular head of state for a period of time, do I really care if that’s three days, three weeks, three months, or even longer? I don’t think I do.” (The Telegraph)
European Union – The European Union released a joint statement on the Syrian Civil War which attempted to merge the differing stances towards Assad held by Europe. France maintains a strong position calling for the removal of Assad while Germany and several other European states have been much more reticent in their approach.
- European Council Joint Statement: 12 OCT – “There cannot be a lasting peace in Syria under the present leadership and until the legitimate grievances and aspirations of all components of the Syrian society are addressed.” (EU)
Russia – Russian attempted to portray itself as a neutral actor in the Syrian Civil War through hints that Assad may depart as the leader of Syria over the long-term. Nonetheless, Russia continued to defend the legitimacy of Assad and the Syrian regime as a whole.
- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: 17 OCT – “We are not fighting for specific leaders, we are defending our national interests…at the moment Russia is working on the basis that Assad is the legitimate president.” (AFP)
Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia softened its position on Assad by expressing an ability to tolerate his presence in a transitional government for several months. This apparent shift conflicts with other statements reflecting persistent Saudi demands for Assad’s immediate departure.
- Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir: 19 OCT – “After the formation of this [transitional] governmental body, President Assad must step down. If it is a matter of months, two or three months or less, that is not important. But Assad has no future in Syria.” (Reuters)
- Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir: 22 OCT – [On whether Assad could play a role in an interim Syrian government] “His role would be to leave Syria… The best case scenario is that we wake up in the morning and Bashar al-Assad is not there.”
Turkey – Turkey also softened its stance on Assad following diplomatic talks with the U.S. and other partner nations, acceding to a transitional administration which preserves Assad as a titular head of state for up to six months.
- Anonymous Turkish officials: 20 OCT – Turkey provided initial support for a political transition that retains Assad as the “symbolic president” of a “transitional administration” for up to six months on the condition that Assad hold no control over the Syrian military or intelligence apparatus and that there be a “guarantee of his departure”. The proposal was reportedly formed with a group of nine countries including the U.S. during the UN General Assembly sessions in late SEP 2015. (Hurriyet)
Iran – Iran mirrored Russian rhetoric on the future role played by Assad in a reflection of the deepening strategic alignment between the two countries over the Middle East.
- Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: 21 OCT – “In any political process the role played by Bashar al-Assad will be important…we are not working for Assad to stay in power forever as president. But we are very cognizant of his role in the fight against terrorism and the national unity of that country. The people of Syria will make the final decision – and whatever decision they take, we will endorse.” (The Guardian)
Most Americans know very little about Assad other than what the media tells them they need to know….and that is a very limited amount of knowledge…..
Th effort by Carter and others is at least an effort to solve this problem without the use of force and the deaths of civilians….it will be crapped on by the world we have today because……let’s face it…..war is all we know….anymore.
Personally, I appreciate Carter’s attempts over the years to solve problems without the use of violence and I wish him and the others luck on this endeavor……they will need it when facing the warmongering public.