Executive Intelligence Review


Syrian Dialogue Congress a Major Achievement

Jan. 31, 2018 (EIRNS)—The official documents and statements that were published overnight, suggest that the Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi, Russia, was, indeed, a major accomplishment, despite the unhappiness of the regime-changers. First was the final statement of the Congress, itself, published by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which lays out the 12 principles for a political settlement of the conflict in Syria, including but not limited to:

"Respect of and full commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the [Syrian Arab Republic/state of Syria] as a land and a people...; Respect of and full commitment to Syria’s national sovereign equality and rights regarding non-intervention...; The Syrian people alone shall determine the future of their country by democratic means, through the ballot box, and shall have the exclusive right to choose their own political, economic and social system without external pressure or interference."

Secondly, was the ringing endorsement of the document by UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who told the Congress that he had taken note of the 12 principles which were "developed in the Geneva political process, which describe a vision of Syria that all Syrians should be able to share." He also took note of the formation of a constitutional committee

"comprising the government of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation along with a wide-represented opposition delegation for drafting a constitutional reform, and that your agreement is intended as a contribution—thank you again—to the political settlement under UN auspices in accordance with Security Council resolution 2254....

"And you have concluded that final agreement is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process on the mandate, terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee,"

he said.

De Mistura told the Congress that he will indicate as soon as possible "how I intend to proceed on my mandated task under resolution 2254. Which means in practice setting in Geneva a schedule and process for constitution drafting. This way a Constitutional Committee can really and concretely be established and begin to work."

There is still much work ahead for the peace process, particularly on how the constitutional committee will actually function, but the mere fact that the Congress, which was widely panned in the West before it convened, made such progress, is generating discontent in the Western media. Reuters, for example, complained that the final statement "made no mention of Assad."