U.N., Arab League envoy warns of 'full collapse' of Syria
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, 8:04 p.m.
The international envoy seeking to end Syria's civil war warned on Sunday that the failure of the government and the rebels to pursue a political solution could lead to the “full collapse of the Syrian state” and threaten the world's security.
Lakhdar Brahimi, who represents the United Nations and the Arab League, said that as many as 100,000 people could be killed in the next year as Syria moves toward “Somalization” and rule by warlords.
Brahimi has reported little progress in his mission to push a peace plan for Syria first presented in June at an international conference in Geneva.
The proposal calls for an open-ended cease-fire and the formation of a transitional government to run the nation until elections can be held and a new constitution drafted. So far, neither the regime of President Bashar Assad nor the scores of rebel groups fighting his forces across the country have shown any interest in negotiations.
The rebels' political leadership has called Assad's departure a prerequisite for any political solution, and it is unlikely that the opposition's National Coalition could even stop rebels on the ground from continuing to fight.
Likewise, it is doubtful that top members of Assad's regime will voluntarily give up power.
The Syrian government has remained officially mum on Brahimi's plan, which he has pushed in the past week in meetings with Assad in Damascus, with top Russian officials in Moscow and on Sunday with the head of the Arab League in Cairo.
Speaking alongside Nabil Elaraby, he estimated that 100,000 people could be killed if the 21-month conflict continues for another year.
“Peace and security in the world will be threatened directly from Syria if there is no solution within the next few months,” he said. “The alternatives are a political solution or the full collapse of the Syrian state.”
Since meeting Assad early last week, Brahimi has given no indication how his plan was received. When asked if there is any willingness among the opposition to enter a political process, Brahimi said, “No, there isn't.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling
- U.S. increases surveillance of N. Korea amidst rumors
- Afghan officials say detainment of Taliban commander thwarts peace process
- First lady’s absence from trip unsettles Japan
- On Easter, Syria’s President Assad visits Christian town recaptured from rebels
- Russia shakes fist at Ukraine; visiting Biden warns against intervention
- Extension for sputtering Mideast talks possible
- Toll rises in South Korean ferry tragedy; more of crew held