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Kerry-Lavrov agreement, again - أورينت نت

Kerry-Lavrov agreement, again

Imad Eddin al-Lijji 2016-09-18 09:00:00

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Going into the details of the latest Kerry-Lavrov agreement, we cannot avoid the rightful legitimate questions on the part of the revolution regarding this agreement. 

Is it a prelude to bury the revolution and to completely eliminate its still-standing opposition?

Is it considered an indication for a solution in Syria on the size of the regime?

Will it establish for the first steps of re-legitimizing the regime and its return as a key player in the so-called war on terror?

In this highly-complicated stage which the Syrian file has reached, the Kerry-Lavrov agreement, which mostly serves the interests of the regime is a serious precedent in the path of the Syrian crisis, unlike all previous agreements and understandings backed by UN resolutions.

This agreement, through its unfair clauses for the revolution and its opposition, may be a new political framework or a new vision for the political process in Syria entirely different from previous UN agreements, including the international envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura’s plan.

According to our belief, the distant goals of the agreement aim to bury all previous UN agreements in resolving the Syrian crisis and completely remove the roles of the United Nations, the European Union, the so-called Friends of Syria and the rest of the participating countries in the Munich statement from the Syrian crisis.

The Kerry-Lavrov agreement has bypassed and jumped over all UN resolutions on Syria including Security Council resolution 2254, which emerged on the basis of Geneva, Vienna negotiations and the condensed Munich meetings which had a statement issued from the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in which about 17 functioning states in Syria’s file agreed upon, most notably the Arab League, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the United Nations, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.

This means the replacement of the ISSG with the Joint Implementation Group (JIG), and trapping the Syrian file in the hands of both Russia and the US, with a preference for Russia because of the ongoing American retreat and repudiation of its commitments in supporting the opposition and the aspirations of the Syrian people to end the crisis.

Building on the above, the agreement between Kerry and Lavrov with its one year period takes us back to the beginning of a dangerous era of high sensitivity in the Syrian crisis. The agreement adopted the point of view of the Assad regime and Russia looked through the announcement of a truce and a cessation of hostilities without starting the negotiating and political process, which may not even start and if it does then it will begin after a month with non-guaranteed results.

This is what contradicts the vision of the UN clauses, which saw the need to launch the path of the political transition and counter-terrorism at the same time. Meanwhile, the latest US-Russian agreement announced a cessation of hostilities without starting the process of political negotiation, which may not start at all.

This is from the negotiations side. However, on the ground, the agreement gives the Russians and Assad space to bomb the revolutionaries and the Jaysh al-Fatth under the pretext of combatting terrorism, including the shelling of opposition groups that have not signed the agreement.

The agreement also demands from the opposition to fight and expel the Nusra Front organization Jaysh al-Fatth from the areas subject to its control, or else, Russia, the Assad regime and the US will target it. In the meantime, the agreement will not come in the way of Iranian, Iraqi, Lebanese and Afghan militias, which altogether operate largely outside the control of the regime. This is not to mention the opposition factions demanding the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the vicinity of Castelo road and demanding a halt in airstrikes by regime warplanes and air defenses.

With lack of any terms or conditions in the Russian-American agreement forcing the Assad regime to comply with ending the bombing of the opposition civilian neighborhoods or places of their presence, and it is lack in mechanisms able to seize, control and punish in case of violation of the rules of the truce, this makes things even worse when the agreement gives the Russians the ability to administer its crossings and roadblocks. Everyone is aware that the Russians taking control of any point or barrier means the taking of control by the regime.

In the same time, the agreement ignores the Ramouseh Road which Assad “forces” restored its control from the hands of the revolutionaries under Russian air cover which did not stop around the clock and the on-ground support of the Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan and Lebanese militias.

The agreement – in its general sense – re-legitimizes Assad and presents him as a real partner and contributor to the fight against terrorism. It calls for coordination with his “troops” under Russian protection, in addition to obtaining a pledge not to target his air defenses, completely ignoring the humanitarian clauses of 12, 13 and 14, which came in UNSC Resolution 2254 which provide for the lifting of the siege on cities and towns under siege and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas, stopping the bombing and releasing detainees. 

This makes the regime continue with its siege and starvation policy to force these areas to partially reconcile without the framework of the negotiation process, or the displacement of its people to complete the demographic change process pursued by the regime and its Iranian allies and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

All of this leads us to the fact that the truce would be fragile and weak with explosive gaps, and most likely it will be a failure. It is a big trick on the Syrian opposition and the Syrian people, its friends, the United Nations and countries of the European Union which aims to destroy what remains of the Syrian opposition areas and completely eliminate the revolutionaries and their families who all share one religion and doctrine.

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