Moscow Talks on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Last September, Lakhdar Brahimi replaced Kofi Annan as UN/Arab League Syrian envoy/mediator. He’s strongly pro-Western. He’s Washington’s point man on Syria.
Kofi Annan’s peace plan was one-sided. It provided imperial cover for war. Brahimi picked up where he left off. His mandate is serving Western interests. Diplomatic cover hides his agenda.
On December 27, Reuters headlined “Peace envoy Brahimi, Syria diplomats in Moscow talks,” saying:
On December 24, Brahimi met with Assad in Damascus. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said he’s due in Moscow December 29. Syrian officials will join him.
In Damascus, Brahimi said:
“Certainly it was clear in Geneva (last June), and it’s even clearer now that the change which is needed is not cosmetic or superficial.”
“I believe the Syrian people need, want, and aspire to genuine change, and everyone knows what this means.”
“A government must be created….with full powers. Full powers means this government must have all the powers of the state. (It) will hold power during the transitional period.”
“What is preferred is that we don’t present such a plan until we feel that all sides have agreed to it. That way, implementing it is easy.”
“It that doesn’t happen, the other solution could be to go to the Security Council to issue a binding resolution for everyone.”
On Wednesday, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Muqdad flew to Moscow from Beirut. On Thursday, he met with Russian Foreign Ministry officials. No details were disclosed.
Brahimi’s involved in brokering conflict resolution on pro-Western terms. Muqdad came to discuss what’s best for Syrians.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said:
“In our talks with Mr. Brahimi and with our American colleagues, we are trying to feel a way out of this situation on the basis of our common plan of action that was agreed in Geneva in June.”
It was about ending armed conflict, achieving peace and stability, adhering fully with international law provisions, and providing for a Syrian led transition. Doing so should represent everyone equitably.
Lukashevich added that plans are to “discuss a range of issues linked to a political and diplomatic settlement in Syria, including Brahimi’s efforts aimed at ending the violence and the launch of a comprehensive national dialogue.”
He stressed Geneva principles have “no alternative.” He accused Washington of agreeing, then reneging.
“Our American colleagues and some others….have turned sharply from (Geneva), by 180 degrees,” he said. They support “the opposition and (refuse) dialogue with the government.”
It “put(s) the opposition in the mood for no dialogue with the authorities but for overthrowing” them.
According to Moscow Carnegie Center analyst Dmitry Trenin:
“The biggest disappointment….is that one side thinks Assad should leave at the start of the process.” That’s America’s position.
“The other side thinks his departure should be as a result of the process.” That’s Russia’s view.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stresses that neither side can prevail in armed conflict. Unless resolved peacefully, it’ll continue longterm.
On December 27, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Russian Foreign Ministry: No Russian-US Plan to Settle the Situation in Syria,” saying:
Moscow want Geneva principles implemented. Lukashevich calls them “irreplaceable for settling the situation in Syria.”
Dialogue alone can resolve things. Russia wants Syrians alone to determine their country’s future. On Saturday, Lavrov and Brahimi will hold talks. Diplomatic conflict resolution will be stressed.
Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Muqdad, will participate. “Nowadays, there is a need for active and decisive measures to put an end to the violence,” said Lukashevich.
SANA cited Brahimi saying Geneva principles include enough ideas to resolve conflict. New ones added to them aren’t needed.
He rhetorically expressed opposition to extremist elements. He added that internal conflict threatens “neighboring countries and the world.”
Earlier reports said he wants UN peacekeepers. That he hoped to enlist support from participating countries. Weeks ago he denied it.
His current language suggests it’s true. He favors a “peacekeeping process.” All parties must agree. “The countries that will contribute to the (process) should be approved by the parties,” he says.
Security Council approval must authorize it. Doing so he claims isn’t occupation.
“The crisis in Syria can be resolved through rapprochement of views between the Syrians, and if they (are) unable to do so, the international community and people should help them for good and not for evil,” he added.
Peacekeepers are military occupiers. They serve Western interests. They do more harm than good. Instead of restoring and maintaining peace, they’re belligerent enforcers.
Their history is deplorable. They terrorize populations. They’re involved in mass rapes and sexual trafficking. They commit murder and crimes against humanity. It’s common wherever they’re deployed.
Brahmi left that and more unexplained. He said so far no proposal was presented. He’ll wait until “after the consent of all parties” or seek binding Security Council authority. Hopefully Russia and China won’t permit it.
He welcomes all ideas. He was briefed on Iran’s initiative. He doesn’t object, but wants no “interfere(nce) within an integrated plan.” In other words, he wants pro-Western diktats enforced.
On December 27, Press TV said Iran’s Syrian ambassador, Mohammad-Reza Raouf-Sheibani, and Brahimi held talks. Views were exchanged.
Iran’s peace plan was presented. Brahimi will discuss them further in Tehran.
“On December 16, Iran unveiled details of a six-point (conflict resolution) plan,” said Press TV. It calls for “an immediate end to all violent and armed acts.”
It urges humanitarian aid, removing economic sanctions, and helping Syrian refugees return home.
It wants all sides involved in talks. It recommends forming a “national reconciliation committee.”
What’s next remains unclear. SANA reported that Russia’s Lebanese ambassador, Alexander Zasypkin, said Moscow rejects outside interference in Syrian affairs.
Foreign Minister Lavrov and other Russian officials stress it often. Syrians alone should decide who’ll lead them. Other nations should keep hands off.
For nearly two years, conditions have been polar opposite. Longstanding US plans call for regime change. America wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing Assad.
Conflict resolution remains distant. Achieving it depends on Washington calling off its dogs. Instead, military, financial, and political support continue.
Expect violence and instability to persist in 2013. NATO intervention and full-scale war looms. Russia’s going all-out to prevent it. Future reports will discuss progress.
A Final Comment
On December 27, Israel National News reported than Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said Washington is “preparing to intervene in Syria.”
Doing so depends on whether Assad uses chemical weapons internally. Syrian officials repeatedly deny intentions to do so. False flag instigation may be planned.
Pretexts are easy to invent. Washington prioritizes them. A 2013 surprise may await.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.