Thursday, 1 March 2012

Violence and Diplomacy in Syria

by Claire Stephens  

Given the escalating violence in the Middle East that has developed since the protest of a single man, one wouldn’t naturally place the words ‘Syria’ and ‘diplomacy’ in the same sentence. However, it has been said that this is exactly what could resolve the on-going conflict that fills our newspapers with headlines today (see the link below). Initially, this hardly seems possible; the atrocious crimes against humanity committed by the Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, are unforgivable under any circumstance. Yet, one should not assume that the violent overthrow of a seemingly corrupt leader would immediately settle the existing conflict, take Egypt as an example. In fact, with Abdel Bari Atwan making the point that, “there is still support for Assad inside the country” it must be recognised that the situation in Syria is highly unique.

Fine, the UN cannot be seen to be waging any form of war with this state. Yet, has the recent referendum provided a step towards democracy? I highly doubt it. As long as Assad continues to murder innocent people, it is vital that we work in an attempt to quash this destruction. It is clear that steps are being taken but the complexity of the situation means that any progress is naturally slow. Will diplomacy truly work? I don’t think anyone quite knows at the moment.


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