A Round Table on the multiplicity of players in Syria and their political orientation
On 7th of February 2018, the Council organized a closed round table entitled “Developments in Syria in connection with the Turkish military operation in the Afrin region and its repercussions on the overall situation in the country”, in the presence of Ambassadors Dr. Mohamed El Badry, assistant Foreign Minister for Arab Affairs, Dr. Mounir Zahran Chair of the Council, Dr. Ezzat Saad Executive Director, and a number of board members. The following were emphasized:
The Russian intervention played a major role in changing the situation on the ground after exhausting the Syrian army in the battle of Damascus in February 2012, to take care of Russian interests on the one hand and to ease international pressure on them because of the Ukrainian crisis; and that the meetings of Astana contributed to the creation of safe areas, but the Sochi Conference wanted the West to appear as a culmination of international efforts, and only once to appear not as an alternative to Geneva, and the document issued by Washington on the Syrian crisis prepared by (America, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) is a clear violation of UN Resolution 2254, which affirms that the constitution is being drafted by the Syrians themselves, and the paper states that it lacks executive mechanisms.
The United States historically did not oppose the idea of a Kurdish state and the dispute was on timing, and despite the reliance on the element of Turkey in its presence in Syria, but that does not mean a confrontation with Turkey, in light of the rise of the US military and its impact more on decision-making amid the weakness of the US State Department and the intelligence service for internal American reasons.
He explained that the decision to freeze Syria’s membership in the Arab League is contrary to Article VIII of the University Charter, which is a serious mistake, but the expulsion of Syria from the Arab League was made when the role of Qatar in 2012 strong and effective. It is necessary to think about how and when to restore Syria to its seat in the University Council. It is necessary to rethink how to conduct a dialogue with Tehran, to stop adopting the American and Israeli views on this matter and to alleviate the current pressures and escalation. The Gulf states will be concerned about the importance of that issue and the crisis in Syria will only move with Arab action.
Egypt should exert greater efforts and provide moral support to the Kurds in the current war, and defeat the Turkish operations in Afrin amidst international idleness and stay silent in the framework of Turkey’s double strategy. Cairo should also adopt a strategy to work on Kurdish reintegration in the Arab region and the return of historical relations with the Kurds as it was in the era of Nasser.
With regard to the Turkish intervention in the predominantly Kurdish country of Afrin, Turkey’s position is governed by historical sensitivities towards the Kurds, special economic interests and at least half of the oil fields in Syria are located in the Kurdish areas of Syria.
Despite America’s support for Kurds, it is keen on its relationship with Turkey for its strategic importance to America and to NATO in general.