Conflict Resolution Through Negotiation – The Only Way Forward

The 20-month Syrian civil war has seen no respite and the civil war is now beginning to spill over into some of Syria’s neighbouring countries. The war has raised concerns and set up red flags internationally. The international community is undecided and divided in its opinion about the next step to be taken to resolve the war-like situation in Syria.

UNHCR spokesperson has said that the Syrian war has spiralled out of control and the fact that the number of refugees leaving the country has increased in number from 400 a day to 5000 is a clear testimony to this fact.

Demands to change regime is ineffective, as the war is not a conflict between a savage regime and the Syrian civilians. A huge Syrian population support Assad and his regime. The opposition has managed to strike the Assad Regime but has failed to consolidate its gains. President Bashar al-Assad conceded during an interview with Dunya television that the war in Syria has reached a military stalemate. The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s call for a ceasefire has had no impact on the situation in Syria. The western conflict resolution policy seems to be floundering amidst the Syrian war. Simply put, the situation has deteriorated and the long drawn conflict needs both the parties to set aside differences and try for a peaceful negotiation.

The fighting has spread to other countries as well. Russia has called for talks between the regime and the opposition; however, continues to support Assad. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey back the opposition. Even after the United Nations, the Arab league, and several countries have proposed initiatives to end the Syrian conflict, the parties involved in the war seem to have settled for a long drawn fight and are in no mood to call it peace.

What started out as a peaceful demonstration some time ago has now become a full fledged war. However, continued repression may not provide any relief from this war. The UN-Arab League peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, continues to oppose the war in Syria and is of the opinion that the demands of the Syrian people should be given primary importance to resolve the situation in Syria. A democratically-held election has been suggested as a peaceful alternative to the prolonged conflict. A political peace talk rather than violence seems to be the popular opinion during discussion between Iran’s prime minister and Lakhdar Brahimi.

The opposition and the Syrian government have agreed to cease fire during the Eid al-Adha holiday. Many countries and UN peace missions hope that this is the beginning of a peaceful resolution and negotiations among the opposition and the Assad regime.

Thousands of people are dying every day. Mediation could provide solution and relief. UN and Arab League continue to find ways to resolve crisis peacefully with the aim of curtailing the war in Syria before it spreads to the international community.