UN envoy Kofi Annan is now on his way to Beijing with Russia’s support for his six-point peace plan for Syria. But online editor Camille Otrakji says the plan faces major hurdles both within Syria and outside of it.
*During his three-day visit to Moscow, Annan discussed his plan with President Dmitry Medvedev and Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. Medvedev and Lavrov backed Annan’s roadmap for peace, which calls on both sides to announce a ceasefire and to conduct inclusive political talks.
Camille Otrakji, an editor for the Syria Comment online magazine, believes it is difficult to foresee the outcome of Annan’s mission.
“There are too many players to predict,” he told RT “I don’t think there is any plan that can meet the needs of all the people. It can meet the needs of the people in the center of the political spectrum.”
Otrakji believes those on the extremes, on the one hand those in favor of making Assad president for life, and on the other those in favor of putting him on trial, would not be satisfied with the plan.
“However, most of the Syrian people have demands that are easier to accommodate,” he said
Otrakji pointed out that the opposition was extremely fractured.
“They vary from the Communists to the Islamists and everything in between,” he said “Most of the opposition leaders are still afraid to sign onto this plan because they’re afraid they will lose the respect of what they call the street, which is the extremists in the opposition. But they would have to be a bit more courageous a show up for the dialog process.”
Otrakji recalled that there was already a precedent for this roadmap.
“We have the Arab League’s initiative,” he said. “And the Syrian government surprised the Arab League by being very accommodating and motivated to help the plan work. It was a failure because Qatar and Saudi Arabia did not want to continue because they expected the Syrian government to fail to respect it.”
He also said the report issued by the Arab League also failed Qatar’s and Saudi Arabia’s expectations as it mostly blamed the opposition for initiating the violence in Homs.
Otrakji also noted that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may try to derail Annan’s mission.
“I think the real troublemaker is going to be Prime Minister Erdogan,” he said “He already attacked Kofi Annan because he did not consult everyone before he proceeded with his plan.”
He expressed his view that Erdogan had his own plan and that Annan’s success would mean that the Turkish leader would have no role to play in the conflict.
"I’m afraid he will do all he can to make it fail through his proxies in Syria, which is mainly the Muslim Brotherhood,” Otrakji stated.
Daoud Khairallah, professor of international law at Georgetown University, noted that Kofi Annan’s plan was within the framework of international law.
“As a general principle of international law, intervention in other countries’ affairs is not allowed and this is well stated in article two of the United Nation’s charter,” he told RT “Mr Kofi Annan is in the right position.”
He said the only time the UN Security Council could call for intervention is if there was a threat to international peace and security, not because of internal turmoil.