ISSN 2330-717X

Wait For The Ceasefire In Syria – OpEd


By Kubra Turk

Al Jazeera underlines that while Assad has agreed for the first time to a deadline to start partially implementing the Annan peace plan by April 10, it is clear that there has not been any progress made yet in conditions regarding Syrian bloodshed. Moreover, Syria’s ambassador to the U.N. has confirmed that the Syrian government is committed to such a plan but is waiting for the same commitment from the opposition side. Such a plan is essentially about stopping the movement of troops into cities and the Syrian government withdrawing heavy weapons from the urban areas. Importantly, the ceasefire is only one part of the Annan peace plan which calls for a political process in Syria.

BBC’s Barbara Plett at the U.N. reports that US Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave a speech on Tuesday, stating “The United States is concerned and quite skeptical that the government of Syria will suddenly adhere to its commitments.” She added that in the event that it does not, “the Security Council would need to respond to that failure in a very urgent and serious way.” However both the definition of such a way and of the next steps against the Syrian government remained unclear. In this context, Susan Rice acknowledged that the Security Council was divided over whether to take action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Thus, the wait for the implementation of the ceasefire in Syria negatively impacts the whole Annan plan, which has already been more difficult in nature. The overall aim of the Annan plan is “to address the aspirations of the Syrian people, the release of detainees, the delivery of humanitarian aid, free movement for journalists, and the right to protest.”

On the issue over Syria, Anne Barnard and Rick Gladstone from the New York Times wrote about the latest initiative by Russia. The new steps were taken by Russia, the most powerful supporter of Syrian government, on Wednesday. In this regard, Moscow invited both the foreign minister of Syria and representatives of the opposition to organize talks for this month by warning foreign sympathizers of the armed opposition not to support them with more weapons. Then, a question arose over whether such talks would bring any success to the Syrian situation shortly before the approaching deadline for the Syrian government.

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JTW - the Journal of Turkish Weekly - is a respected Turkish news source in English language on international politics. Established in 2004, JTW is published by Ankara-based Turkish think tank International Strategic Research Organization (USAK).

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