Five years after the beginning of the crisis in Syria, which has led to large-scale massacre of people and destruction of property in the Arab country, the United Nations Security Council finally adopted Resolution 2254 through positive vote of all members of the international body, raising hopes about possibility of putting an end to bloodletting and destruction in Syria. The resolution has been drawn up in 15 paragraphs on the basis of the results of two international conferences on Syria, known as Vienna 2 and Geneva 1, and has been formulated in a way as to allow for all actors involved in Syria crisis to achieve part of their goals. Resolution 2254 is, in fact, a roadmap for the implementation of steps that are supposed to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria. The main stages of resolving the crisis in Syria include establishment of a broad-based government consisting of opponents and proponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, making amends to Syrian constitutions, and holding parliamentary and presidential elections, all of which must be done in a matter of 18 months.
Since Western countries are on the eve of the New Year festivities, it seems that Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, will start implementing Resolution 2254 in the last two weeks of January 2016. In the meantime, it must be noted that there were a number of reasons why this resolution was adopted through a majority vote by the UN Security Council after five years of crisis in Syria. First and foremost, it seems that recent consultations between Russia and the United States over Syria and a visit by the US Secretary of State John Kerry to Moscow combined with negotiations he had with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were the most important reasons behind adoption of Resolution 2254. The reaction shown by Putin after his talks with Kerry showed that the United States has partially stepped back from his past positions on Syria in order to satisfy the Kremlin. Another question about the resolution is which part of the Syrian opposition groups will take part in the implementation of the recent resolution adopted by the UN Security Council?
During past days, a conference was held in Riyadh bringing together representatives of opposition groups in Syria. Most groups taking part in the meeting were followers of the policies of Saudi Arabia and Turkey in Syria and even some terrorist groups had taken part in the meeting. The outcome of Riyadh meeting was not satisfactory to Russia, Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In addition, Syrian opposition groups also gathered in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo with such known opposition figures as Haytham Manna in attendance. Another meeting of a Syrian opposition group was convened in Moscow last year, whose famous figure was Qadri Jamil. It seems that De Mistura will choose people from these three groups in order to both implement the Security Council resolution under the general title of Syrian opposition and obtain satisfaction of other regional actors involved in Syria crisis. On the whole, the recent Security Council resolution on Syria crisis includes a number of important positive points.
The first point is that the resolution has put renewed emphasis on the integrity and sovereignty of Syrian government. As a result, those opposition groups that call for the disintegration of Syria cannot be part of the peace process. The second point is about the fate of the Syrian President Bashar Assad. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey continue to insist on Assad’s removal from power while the contents of the resolution have been drawn up through Russia’s efforts in such a way that all decisions have been left to Syrian nation and only forthcoming elections will determine who will enter the Syrian parliament and who will become the country’s president. This point is very important because the international community has actually accepted that no country has the right to make decisions on behalf of another nation. On the whole, the resolution includes positive points and abidance by these points will raise hope in the termination of Syria’s five-year crisis.
Although efforts made by Russia in international organizations, and pressures that were mounted on the United States played an important role in the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 2254, it seems however that two more factors have been influential in convincing the international community about the need to put an end to Syria crisis: firstly, the resistance shown by the Syrian nation and army against terrorists, and secondly, the spread of Takfiri terrorism, not only in the region, but also in Europe. Terrorist attacks in France, the UK, and even the United States made everybody reach the conclusion that such blind terrorism must be fought against.