May 19, 2014

Former UN Envoy To Syria Brahimi Speaks Bluntly About Syria In An Interview With Al-Monitor

Below are excerpts from Lakhdar Brahimi's interview with Al-Monitor. Brahimi will step down from his position as UN envoy to Syria at the end of the month after serving for twenty months.

The Russian analysis about the longevity and durability of the Assad regime was right:
“I think the Russian analysis was right at the beginning, but everybody thought that it was an opinion and not an analysis. The Russians were saying that Syria is not Egypt and it is not Tunisia, and the president of Syria is not going to fall in a matter of two or three weeks. People thought that this was not an analysis, it was an expression of position: ‘we are going to support this regime,’” Brahimi said.

“Maybe, maybe if people listened to them, and went to them, and said, listen you clearly know the situation in Syria better than anybody else. Let’s sit down and see how we can help Syria solve its problems. Perhaps things would have been different. But that did not happen.”
Foreign fighters, both pro-Assad and anti-Assad, must be forced to leave Syria to achieve a sustainable peace:
"I suppose everybody cooperating to get all foreign fighters out may be the beginning of the right treatment of this problem.”
Multiple foreign, regional, and covert agendas are pursued at the cost of the Syrian people:
“This may sound like the language of a priest, but I very strongly believe a lot of people are not really thinking of Syria. There are a lot of agendas involved in this that have very little to do with the Syrian people,” he said.

“What I have been telling people and what is probably now starting to be seen is that if everybody thinks of the Syrian people, perhaps they will help solve the problem, and they will see that their own interests will not be fundamentally attacked or diminished in any way.”