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Peace Mission for Syria

Lieutenant General Chander Prakash writes: The most likely scenario for an end to the conflict in Syria would require a regionally led solution involving Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia with the eventual backing of the US and Russia.

Lieutenant General Chander Prakash writes: The most likely scenario for an end to the conflict in Syria would require a regionally led solution involving Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia with the eventual backing of the US and Russia. An international, including any regional, attempt to deploy a military-style operation aimed at halting the armed violence, addressing the humanitarian crises and creating stable conditions for a political process will face significant and multifaceted challenges, including the risk of armed opposition. International and regional conditions will dictate the legal and political framework for such an operation. Based on the lessons learned from Libya and other peace missions such as DRC, CAR and Mali, it is, however, possible to discern some of the key requirements that need to be in place.  These are : Firstly, sufficient Syrian, regional and international political and diplomatic backing. Secondly, a certain degree of acceptance in terms of commitments, to not undermine or oppose such an operation from the key regional and international stakeholders. Both the Syrian and the international backing must be robust enough to sustain setbacks and challenges in the implementation phase. A peacekeeping operation in a complex environment as the one that prevails in Syria needs to be framed in the context of a broader political strategy, aimed at ending the fighting and creating conditions for a managed political transition. This peacekeeping operation will also need the cooperation of the Syrian army, as well as that of opposition armed forces that have signed the peace agreement. Those working on paving the road to a peaceful Syria should keep in mind that the success of the whole endeavour hinges on the involvement of Syrians, Regional and international partners with the right profile. Some views are being expressed that any peacekeeping force will need to involve non-Western countries such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.  It is a moot question if India should be part of this peacekeeping mission and with what mandate.

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