Roundtable discussion On “Chances to advance settlement in Syria”
On September 15, 2021, ECFA organized a panel discussion on “Chances to advance settlement in Syria”, which tackled in particular three axes: the future of the Syrian regime under internal and external pressures; Chances for settling the Syrian crisis and its challenges; The Kurdish-Kurdish dialogue and the vision of the Syrian Democratic Council for the future of Syria. A number of experts and persons concerned with the Arab and Syrian affairs, both ECFA members and non-members, participated in the discussion.
The discussion was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA President. Speakers in the three axes were, respectively: Ambassador/ Mohamed Saad Obeid, the former Egyptian ambassador to Syria; Dr. Mohamed El-Saeed Idris, Adviser to Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies; While the Kurdish axis was tackled by Ms. Laila Moussa, representative of the Syrian Democratic Council in Cairo, Dr. Ragai Fayed, head of the Egyptian Center for Kurdish Studies and Research, and Mr. Ali Nawaf Al-Asi, Vice President of the Future Syria Party. Dr. Hassan Abu Taleb, senior Advisor, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, commented on the points addressed by the aforementioned axes.
In this context, the meeting dealt with the various challenges that prevent progress in settling the Syrian file, including the continued existence of the same Syrian regime led by President Bashar al-Assad, as well as the presence of foreign forces in the Syrian territories, Kurdish-Kurdish disputes inside Syria, and the weakness of the opposition and its failure to offer alternatives to the current regime, and also the decline of the Syrian issue on the list of priorities of the new US administration led by Biden, not to mention the continued suspension of Syria’s membership in the League of Arab States, and the Arab dispute over that. Some participants considered that the chances of moving the Syrian settlement process have become possible, given the recent Turkish-Arab rapprochement, as well as its Saudi-Iranian counterpart, while others believed that these developments would not lead to fundamental changes in the Syrian file, as long as Assad is present and is dependent on Russian and Iranian support, presenting himself as the victorious in the war.