Sunday, July 22, 2012
All observers accept that the regime will fall. But do Syria's neighbours have the power to create a stable united nation?
(Samir Aita is a member of the Syrian Democratic Forum, and editor-in-chief of Le Monde Diplomatique Arabic edition)
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 22 July 2012
".....The Russians know, like the Americans and others, that the Syrian regime is already "down" and that Assad has to go. All elements of the political opposition agreed on that in their conference in Cairo this month. What is at stake now is what comes next.
The real question here is whether the US wants a stable and united Syria, even after a long period of transition. And does it have the means to influence such an outcome through the emerging regional powers of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey? A clean break with the current regime has already occurred within a large section of the Syrian population. Some could even be imagined calling for Turkish or Israeli bombing just to get rid of the Assads; while Iran and Hezbollah have been transformed in popular minds from strategic allies to enemies.
But will the departure of Assad be sufficient for the Qatari and Saudi emirs, as well as the ruling AKP in Turkey? Or do they want more? In essence, could they accept a united Syria that could only be maintained on the basis of a secular state with equal citizenship? Would they accept such a state, strong, democratic and free, even after a long transition? This remains unclear."