West reportedly ignored russian syria peace plan without assad in 2012

UN diplomat Martti Ahtisaari considers the current catastrophe to be the result of "self-made"

According to former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, three years ago the West ignored a Russian peace plan for Syria that called for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. If the accusation is true, it would be remarkable in that the Alawite has been repeatedly presented by Western politicians as the main obstacle to an anti-terror policy in the Middle East coordinated with Russia.

According to Ahtisaari, if the Russian peace plan had been implemented at the time, it would have prevented the Islamic State (IS), a terrorist organization that had only gained strength in 2013, from seizing a caliphate – and millions of Syrian and Iraqi Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Alawites, Druze, Shiites, and secular Sunnis would not have fled abroad or to western Syria, which is still controlled by the government. Not to mention the beheaded, burned and otherwise murdered.

Even the similarly dangerous al-Nusra Front and its affiliates would probably not today control virtually the entire province of Idlib, the west of Aleppo province,1 over half of Dar’a and Quneitra provinces, and larger areas in Hama, Homs, Damascus, and Latakia provinces if they had faced a Syrian army supported not only by Russia and Iran, but also by NATO.

Martti Ahtisaari. Photo: Johannes Jansson. License: CC BY 2.5/dk

The fact that Ahtisaari’s statements are true is supported by the fact that the politician (who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 for his mediation efforts in Namibia, Indonesia and other former conflict hotspots) held intensive talks in February 2012 with representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, in which Syria was discussed. During these talks, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, is said to have presented him with a three-point plan that called for, first, no weapons to be supplied to rebels; second, for a dialogue to be initiated between the opposition and al-Assad; and, after that, for the president to be given a "elegant way" disbanded from office.

Churkin has so far not wanted to comment on Ahtisaari’s unveiling, saying that he was referring to a "private conversation" refer to. However, the Finnish ex-president does not believe that the Russian was only expressing his private opinion in 2012. He had no doubts that the ambassador was speaking on behalf of the Kremlin in a second conversation they had after Churkin’s stay in Moscow.

Ahtisaari said he passed the plan on to representatives of the U.S., France and the U.K. According to him, these (and representatives of several other Western countries) ignored him because they believed al-Assad would only remain president for a short time anyway. Ahtisaari therefore considered the current flood of asylum seekers a "self-made".

The Western dogma of not wanting peace with al-Assad is now no longer held by all states: Last week, during a state visit to Tehran, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, called for anti-IS cooperation with Russia, Iran and the Syrian President, who is on the same side as the West on this ie. And his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel GarcIa-Margallo, said on Cadena SER that a victory against IS would require both a military solution and a military strategy "within the framework of national law" The government needs a dialogue with Bashar al-Assad (cf. Lavrov: Western politicians speak differently about Syria in private and in public).

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