Archive for August 3rd, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Syria: Annan resigns, Beijing hedges its Bets

The Syrian government and opposition reacted to UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan‘s announcement that he would end his work by the end of the month, reports Xinhua:

In a statement published on August 2, the Syrian foreign ministry expressed deep regret. The statement emphasized that the Syrian government had always worked for the implementation of Annan’s six-point resolution plan for the Syrian crisis, to solve the crisis by political means and dialog.


The statement says that the Syrian government had always maintained good cooperation with the UN monitoring mission. But some countries, despite verbal promises to support Annan’s peace proposals, had in fact acted to the contrary. The statement also points out that the Syrian government would continue to  combat terrorism within the Syrian borders, and protect the safety of civilians and property.


At the same time, Hassan Abdel Azim, general coordinator of Syria’s biggest opposition party, the “Syrian National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change”, told a Xinhua reporter that Annan’s departure meant that the peace proposals had failed, the main reason of which was that the armed conflict between the Syrian government’s and the oppositional forces had never stopped. He said that hopes for a peaceful resolution were now very distant, and Syria would fall into full civil war.


Huanqiu Shibao:

According to RIA Novosti, a leading Syrian oppositional believes that the international community is responsible for Annan resignaton as the UN and Arab-League special envoy.


One of the “National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change” leaders, Hassan Abdel Azim, said that “Annan was the United Nations’ and the Arab League’s special envoy, but didn’t get the support the international community should have given him”. He believed that on the one hand, Russia and China hadn’t exerted pressure on the Assad regime, and on the other, America, the West, Turkey, and some Arab countries hadn’t put pressure on the armed opposition, and therefore hadn’t been able to to get the crisis onto a political track.


[…] He said: “military confrontation within Syria will decide the outcome. The winner will be decided in the violence between the government and the armed opposition”.

[…..] 他说:“叙利亚的命运将取决于国内军事对立的结果,将在当局的暴力和反对派武装的反暴力中决出胜者。”

Reading Chinese media leaves the impression that the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change is the opposition group Beijing believes it can do business with (to use the old Thatcher quote), if the need arises.

National Coordination Committee members visited Beijing in February this year and had words of praise for China’s just position on Middle East affairs at the time. An informal or – just as possible – semi-official blogger suggested in February that Beijing had previously lost ground in Libya for its cool relations with Gaddafi’s opponents, and had become smarter by the Libyan experience.

Hassan Abdel Azim (apparently also referred to as Hussein Abdel Azim) is seen as a Nasserist, i. e. an Arab nationalist and socialist, rather than an Islamist.



» UN General Assembly passes Resolution, RIA Novosti, Aug 3, 2012


%d bloggers like this: