Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

What’s the difference between the “Friends of Syria” and its enemies? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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What is the difference between the “Friends of Syria” and the country’s enemies? This is the question that I asked myself as I monitored the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris last week.

These Friends of Syria are not, of course, friends of the regime of the dictator Bashar al-Assad, but rather the Syrian people who are being massacred on a daily basis.

These Friends of Syria could be classified as “friends” for the extent of their protection of unarmed Syrian civilians, and for their practical efforts and effective decisions in accelerating the collapse of this violent regime that has been governing Syria since the early 70s until today.

The speech given by Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, confirmed this, reflecting Riyadh’s desire to move from the current phase of sanctions to a more stringent phase where greater pressure is exerted on the al-Assad regime. This is to ensure that the current meeting does not serve to grant the Syrian regime an additional grace period to continue its massacres against the unarmed civilians.

As for the speech given by UAE Foreign Affairs Minister, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, this expressed his sadness and frustration regarding the current stage of empty talk and ineffective decisions. Following this, he asked during his eloquent impromptu speech, “where is Mr. Kofi Annan, why didn’t he attend the conference and talk to us? What is he doing in Geneva?”

The signs that are coming out of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi today must be understood by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is still gambling on talks, summits and attempts to soften Moscow and Beijing’s position on Syria.

The international community is demanding an immediate move from a stage of denunciation and condemnation and waiting for the report of the international monitors, to real and effective movement to stop this farce.

Whoever thinks they are a friend of Syria merely by providing humanitarian relief and assistance or dealing with the Syrian crisis as if it is merely a problem of foodstuff, doctors, refugees and camps is in fact carrying out a great wrong. This offense is no less great than the wrongs being carried out by the ruling regime in Syria today.

Whatever the regional and international calculations and accountings, Syria should not be left to bleed simply because it is not a oil-producing country like Libya, where NATO squadrons were deployed!