Azm and Mallat in Ahram: Syria beyond Geneva



A six-point statement of principles in a alternative plan that focuses on Assad’s demise, judicial accountability and the establishment of safe havens

By Sadek Jalal al-Azm and Chibli Mallat

1. No national unity cabinet is possible with any of those who participated in the mass crimes since the nonviolent beginning of the Syrian Revolution in March 2011.

2. The UN-Arab League’s envoy Plan (hereinafter Plan) is structurally flawed from its inception. It ignored a major achievement reached by the Syrian Revolution and endorsed by the Arab League: the request that the dictator be forced to leave power. This achievement of the Syrian revolution is not negotiable.

3. Crimes of the scale committed by Syrian officials and their hirelings cannot go unpunished. This is the other major flaw of the Plan.There is no place for discussion with the dictator other than the modalities of his surrender to justice. The only compromise that can be discussed with regime officials is for international assurances against the death penalty through an international or mixed tribunal, and the protection of members of the families of those responsible so long as these members have not participated personally in the killings, disappearances and torture. Criminal accountability also applies to the armed resistance.

4. The Plan was responsible for the increased militarization of the revolution in Syria. Speaking of ‘civil war’ is callous and puts killers and the innocent population on the same moral footing. By giving renewed consideration to an isolated dictator, the Plan has enhanced sectarian strife and the risks of a regional war. The Syrian dictator’s refusal to step down was encouraged by his recognition through the Plan.


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