Key powers discuss possibility of Syria federal division?
By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor on March 11, 2016
ISIL oil tankers “cook off” after Russian air strike
… from Press TV, Tehran
US moderate rebels give interview, but make a mistake
[ Editor’s Note: Well the cat is getting let out of the bag here. And note Assad’s statement below, which drives a wooden stake through the heart of the Western and Gulf terror war, “From our side, when the Syrian people are ready to move in a certain direction, we will naturally agree to this.”
Notice how he never waivers from the Syrians having the final say, keeping the door shut on the outside powers thinking they are going to cut a deal on what Syria is going to look like and then putting on a show where this is a fixed outcome of the negotiations.
Assad has also been open to discussing autonomy as an obvious part of the talks, but wants a firewall on any terrorist factions being involved in any way as the Syrian people and Army have not suffered what they have to make deals with the terrorists or their supporters.
This is a warm up card being played in a timely fashion before the next round of Geneva talks on the March 14th. It is also twisting the knife on Erdogan that Kurkish autonomy in the northern regions would be on the table, and something Turkey will have no legitimate say in.
It actually looks like the door is being left open for Turkey military action so as to continue the political isolation of Erdogan , and put the US and NATO on the spot for not being able to restrain Turkey from openly violating the ceasefire… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … March 11, 2016 –
An early partition map for Syria
Major powers have discussed a federal division of Syria as a possible option to end five years of foreign-backed militancy in the Arab state, UN diplomats say.
A Security Council diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said some Western powers and Russia are looking into the issue of Syria’s federal division, which would keep the country’s unity as one state but give autonomy to regional authorities.
The source further said the idea had been passed on to UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.
“While insisting on retaining the territorial integrity of Syria, so continuing to keep it as a single country, of course there are all sorts of different models of a federal structure that would, in some models, have a very, very loose center and a lot of autonomy for different regions,” the diplomat added.
The remarks were confirmed by another UN Security Council diplomat.
This comes as talks between Syrian government delegates and the so-called opposition group, known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), are set to resume in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 14.
The UN-brokered peace negotiations collapsed early in February after the Saudi-backed opposition left the talks amid the Syrian army’s Russian-backed gains against militants on several fronts.
Both sides have not yet confirmed their participation in the fresh round of talks. Meanwhile, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities, brokered by Russia and the US, has taken effect in Syria since February 27.
On Thursday, de Mistura said in an interview with Al Jazeera that “all Syrians have rejected division (of Syria) and federalism can be discussed at the negotiations.”
On February 29, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkovsuggested that a federal state may be a suitable government model to preserve Syria’s unity and sovereignty.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also said in an interview last September that any change must be approved by the Arab nation, adding, “From our side, when the Syrian people are ready to move in a certain direction, we will naturally agree to this.”
Riad Hijab, head of the Saudi-backed HNC, said earlier this week that the opposition will not accept federalism, adding, “We have agreed we will expand non-central government in a future Syria, but not any kind of federalism or division.”
The crisis in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of over 470,000, according to some reports.