Q&A with Christiane Amanpour: What’s next for diplomacy for Syria?
By Samuel Burke
What is the next step for diplomacy in Syria?
A meeting of the so called “Friends of Syria” in Paris, later this week. The British Foreign Secretary William Hague has told me that more than 100 countries will be represented there. They want to ratchet up the pressure on Bashar al-Assad, hoping to impose even more sanctions on the regime. In addition, they hope to convince those countries which have yet to be involved to join in applying sanctions.
More pressure would be derived by compiling evidence of all human rights abuses, including torture, so that one day they may be used in a court of law against Assad. In the event that the ‘Annan Plan’ doesn’t work, Hague says they will seek a Chapter 7 Resolution at the United Nations, which would include more muscular sanctions with consequences.
Is the latest peace plan going to work?
Probably not. The Western nations, as well as Russia and China, have a different view of exactly what was agreed to. The West believes it achieved an agreement to a transitional governing body in Syria, which will inevitably mean that Assad has to step down. However, Russia is saying, ‘not so fast.’
So yet again, there are semantic and substantive arguments over the way forward, and how much and how hard to push Assad. The Russians want no part of regime change, and that remains a major sticking point. At the same time, the West does not want to intervene militarily, nor does it want to arm the opposition on the ground. So it looks like we’re still in the phase of talking, pressure and sanctions. FULL POST
The latest edition of Amanpour is online: Part 1: A Syrian military defector Abdalhamid Zakaria tells Christiane Amanpour why he defected from the Syrian military and joined the Free Syrian Army. Part 2: Peña Nieto: Mexico's new face He is young and fresh, but Mexico's projected next president also represents a new face on the old guard.
Abdalhamid Zakaria tells Christiane Amanpour why he defected from the Syrian military and joined the Free Syrian Army.
Peña Nieto is young and fresh, but Mexico's projected next president also represents a new face on the old guard.
ITN's Bill Neely sees first-hand how the two sides in Syria are engaged in fierce battle.