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Situation in Syria “painful” – Iraqi FM | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has ruled out that the political escalation between the Iraqi Government and the Kurdistan Region would reach the point of confrontation, and stressed that “the solution will be within the framework of the constitution,” disclosing that a meeting will be held in Baghdad soon between military experts from the two sides in order to resolve the issue.

Zebari pointed out that “the solution may take time because there are no magical solutions, and whenever the crisis gets stronger it becomes closer to a breakthrough.” The Iraqi Foreign Minister emphasized that “any dispute or crisis will not reach at all reach the point of confrontation or the disintegration of the covenant of national accord.”

Regarding the current security situation in Iraq, Zebari told Asharq Al-Awsat that “it is better than it has been when the Arab summit was held as the challenges then were stronger, particularly by the parties that were against the political process, which necessitated taking higher degrees of security mobilization,” lauding the security coordination among all state establishments. Zebari added that, “The security situation is better in light of the experience the security forces have acquired and the awareness of the citizens and the pullout of the occupation forces, which had been targeted by the jihadist groups and Al-Qaeda’s elements, in addition to the decline in the tension and the sectarian violence after the reconciliation meetings.”

Concerning the situation in Syria, the Iraqi Foreign Minister described it as “painful” and is getting worse. On whether a peaceful solution is on the horizon, Zebari told Asharq Al-Awsat, “After the bloodshed, the political solution is in need of a miracle because the relationship between the people and the regime has been destroyed, and the clock cannot be turned back and no regime can stay with its people in such a case.”

Zebari revealed that Baghdad will soon receive a group from the Syrian opposition, which is not part of the Syrian National Coalition, pointing out that Iraq is talking with all sides because it is the country that is most harmed by the Syrian crisis. He described the situation in Syria as complicated, stressing that “the military settlement between the regime and the opposition is not easy and will take time.” He also said: “We had an experience with the Baath Party and it took a time that lasted for years, and whatever support the opposition gets, it will not be similar to what the regime is having.” He described the current situation as “a war of attrition between the two sides and an exhaustion of regional forces that work in proxy in Syria.”

Regarding [UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar] Brahimi’s choice to return to Geneva in support of a transitional government and a peaceful transition of authority, the Iraqi Foreign Minister said that “the mechanisms of this solution are not available because what Brahimi needs in terms of sending peace-keeping forces requires the approval of the Security Council, and the international forces are currently not prepared for such a solution”.

“The stands may change in the next spring if the bombardment with aircraft and launchers of the Syrian people continues, and some international parties may help through an international humanitarian intervention but not similar to what happened in Iraq and Libya.” Zebari added.