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Recognizing the provisional Syrian government - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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French President Francois Hollande announced that “France will recognize the provisional government of Syria once it is formed”. The truth is that this is the least that can be done for the Syrian revolution. This is the reasonable minimum response to the crimes being committed by the al-Assad regime gangs against the Syrian people, and this is therefore something that the Arabs and the West must do.

Al-Assad’s gangs are bombarding Damascus and other Syrian cities, whilst one of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders has announced that his country has sent officers, snipers and infantry to support al-Assad against the Syrian people. In addition to this, the death toll in Syria has exceeded 27,000, and we have seen Syrian children – not even 12 months old – being shot and killed by al-Assad’s gangs, whilst more than 200 people are being killed in the country every day. In light of all this, what is the international community – and particularly the Arab world – waiting for in order to save the Syrian people from al-Assad’s criminal gangs? This is a truly confusing state of affairs, particularly as some are continuing to talk about a peaceful solution and rejecting military intervention. The last such figure to talk about this in the Arab world was the Egyptian president, and this raises the following question: how can we rescue the Syrian people and put an end to al-Assad’s killing machine whilst the international community – and prior to this the Arab world – have failed to take any concrete steps to convince al-Assad that he is facing a hopeless situation, no matter what he does? How can we rescue the Syrian people when we have failed to convince the Iranians that it has no hope of utilizing half-solutions in Syria?

Therefore, the least that we can do for the Syrian revolution today is what was proposed by the French president in his speech on Monday, during which he announced that his country would recognize the provisional government of Syria as soon as it is formed. However we must not stop here, we must also see all Arab states without exception, including Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, as well as Egypt, publicly receive the leadership of the opposing Syrian National Council [SNC] and Free Syrian Army [FSA], particularly as these organizations are very serious, and low-level meetings are insufficient. In fact, there must be a clear and public message to al-Assad and Iran that the game is over and that what is happening in Syria is a crime, not a “misunderstanding” between the people and regime, as the Syrian National Reconciliation Minister stated pathetically in his most recent statement.

This is the minimum requirement for the international community, and particularly the Arab world, today. However this does not mean that this is the only required solution, rather this is just the urgent requirement today, and something that must be implemented as soon as possible. This is in order to send a clear message to Iran and others who are trying to dilute the positions regarding the Syrian crisis, particularly those who are misleading people regarding their true intentions on issues such as dialogue and military intervention and others. Therefore recognizing the provisional government of Syria now, and publicly receiving Syrian opposition leaders at the highest levels, means that everybody will have taken concrete action for the post-Assad period. This would also mean that there is no longer any room today for applying half-solutions or attempting to Lebanonize Syria, something that would enable Iran to extend its influence in the Levant.

In conclusion, recognizing the provisional government of Syria is the least that we can do today to send a clear message that there is no hope for the criminal of Damascus.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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