Sochi Peace Conference’s 12-Point Statement
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Multiple rounds of Geneva and Astana talks failed to end seven years of Obama’s war on Syria, continued by Trump.
Monday and Tuesday talks in Sochi aimed to establish a framework for achieving what earlier talks failed to accomplish.
Washington, NATO, Israel and the Saudis are the key obstacles to conflict resolution – wanting endless war and regime change, Syrian sovereignty destroyed, and Iran isolated ahead of seeking an end to the Islamic Republic by war or color revolution.
Russia deserves high praise for resolutely pursuing peace in Syria despite enormous obstacles – in Geneva, Astana and now Sochi.
Key opposition groups refused to participate, explained in a previous article. Yet over 1,500 delegates showed up, mostly Syrians wanting an end to years of war.
Participants agreed on a 12-point document for the country’s future – concurring on the importance of assuring Syrian sovereign independence, territorial integrity and unity.
“In this regard, no part of the national territory shall be ceded. The people of Syria remain committed to the recovery of the occupied Syrian Golan by all lawful means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law,” the document states.
Point 2 stressed “respect of and full commitment to Syria’s national sovereign equality and rights regarding non-intervention,” adding:
“Syria shall take its full role in the international community and the region, including as part of the Arab world, in conformity with the UN Charter, and its purposes and principles.”
3. Syrians alone shall decide their future, free from foreign interference, including the exclusive right to choose their government and leadership.
4. Syria should be “democratic and non-sectarian state based on political pluralism and equal citizenship irrespective of religion, ethnicity and gender.”
Respect for rule of law principles, separation of power, judicial independence, and “full equality of all citizens” was agreed on.
5. Syrian governance should be “committed to national unity, social peace, and comprehensive and balanced development with fair representation in local administration.”
6. Rebuilding from the ravages of war was agreed on, along with protecting property rights, and serving all Syrians “without discrimination.”
7. Syria should have a “strong, unified, meritocratic and national army that carries out its duties in accordance with the constitution and the highest standards” – operating to protect the nation from “external threats and terrorism,” the document states.
8. Delegates declared their “unqualified rejection of – and active commitment to combat – terrorism, fanaticism, extremism and sectarianism in all its forms and to tackle conditions conducive to their spread.”
9. They declared their “unqualified rejection of – and active commitment to combat – terrorism, fanaticism, extremism and sectarianism in all its forms and to tackle conditions conducive to their spread.”
10. “(H)igh value (was) placed on Syria’s society and national identity, its history of diversity and the contributions and values that all religions, civilizations and traditions have brought to Syria, including the coexistence among its various components, along with the protection of the national cultural heritage of the nation and its diverse cultures.”
11. A constitutional committee comprised of government officials, opposition elements, “Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women” will be tasked with “drafting…constitutional reform as a contribution to the political settlement under the UN auspices in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.”
12. “Final agreement is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process on the mandate and terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee.”
Multiple rounds of peace talks have been held since July 2012 in Geneva – failing to achieve conflict resolution.
The 2012 talks were called a “last-ditch effort” to halt violence. Things got worse, not better.
Washington and its rogue allies want endless war and regime change. They want pro-Western puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence.
Conflict resolution remains unattainable as long as this position remains unchanged, as long as US and Turkish forces occupy Syrian territory, refusing to leave.
These are the key issues talks in Geneva, Astana and Sochi haven’t resolved – why endless war continues with no end in sight.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”