A better way forward for Syria was presented in Economy Watch today as part of a wideranging article about Russia’s role in the Middle East:
“One possibility is for Al-Assad to withdraw to the traditional Aliwite (sic) coastal enclave to begin the partitioning of Syria into three or more separate zones, Aliwite, Kurdish, and Sunni.
“Al-Assad’s grandfather in 1936 had asked the French administrators of the Syrian mandate to create a separate Aliwite territory in order to avoid just this type of ethnic violence.
“What the French would not do circumstance may force the grandson to accept as his only choice to survive. His one hundred thousand heavily armed troops would be able to defend the enclave.
“The four or five million Aliwites, Christians, and Druze would have agricultural land, water, a deep water port and an international airport. Very importantly, they would have the still undeveloped natural gas offshore fields that extend from Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus. The Aliwite Republic could be energy self-sufficient and even an exporter.
“In an last effort to bring the nearly two year long civil war to an end, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov urged Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, at the end of December, to start talks with the Syrian opposition in line with the agreements for a cease fire that was reached in Geneva on 30 June. The Russians have also extended the invitation to the Syrian opposition National Coalition head, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib”.
Imonti points out that at present the National Coalition is refusing to negotiate with Al-Assad and Al-Assad will not relinquish power voluntarily.
We hope both sides will see the light.
Felix Imonti is the retired director of a private equity firm. He is a Canadian citizen living near Tokyo.