Syria Shouldn’t Be Plunged Into Iraq-Style Catastrophe
Xinhua News Agency
March 29, 2012
Not let Syria suffer Iraq-style bitterness
By Xu Ke
BEIJING: Arab and international leaders, having arrived in Baghdad for the Arab League (AL) summit Thursday, probably have seen a city recovering from nearly a decade of turbulence and a road with palm trees and green lawn along it from the airport to the venue.
The Iraqi government, suffering long-term violence and insurgence, has spent millions of U.S. dollars in preparing the city for the major Arab gathering, which will discuss the ongoing Syrian crisis.
Iraq, keen to host the summit, has hoped the event would show that the country is pulling out of years of turmoil and bloodshed.
However, what are behind the seemingly peaceful road are concrete barriers surrounding government buildings and neighborhoods and search missions conducted by security forces from door to door, which are aimed at ensuring a safe summit.
The scenes in Baghdad, which witnessed the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, showed the city is still far from a safe paradise.
According to the UN refugee agency, over 1.3 million Iraqis still remain internally displaced, unable to return to their areas of origin because of sectarian tensions.
The bitter experience of Iraq proved external military intervention caused years of violence and bloodshed instead of bringing peace and prosperity in Iraq, and similar interference is by no means a right solution to the chronic Syrian crisis.
Any abrupt external invasion may bring about a regime change in Syria but never a peaceful solution to sectarian and other disputes.
Moreover, external military interference breaches the principles of the UN Charter and norms governing international relations.
Syria shouldn’t be plunged into a bitter situation like Iraq.
Both the Syrian government and the opposition are called on to end their conflicts through dialogue and political settlement as quickly as possible.
Actually, positive signals of politically solving the crisis have emerged after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to accept a peace plan put forward by the UN-AL joint envoy Kofi Annan, which calls for a national dialogue in Syria instead of forcefully deposing al-Assad.
On Wednesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the AL summit would not urge President al-Assad to step down.
It is up to the people of Syria to decide, choose and elect their leaders, he said, stressing the AL or anybody else should not make the decision for the Syrian people.
Given the above-stated facts, it is crucial and imperative to solve the year-long Syrian crisis through peaceful talks and political coordination as early as possible.