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Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong

A Key Step Forward
toward Resolving the Syrian Crisis

Syria's announcement that it will join the Chemical Weapons Convention is a key step toward resolving the crisis, and one welcomed by both China and Russia.

Translated By Nathan Hsu

14 September 2013

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Hong Kong - Wen Wei Po - Original Article (Chinese)

Syria's announcement that it will join the Chemical Weapons Convention is a key step toward resolving the crisis, and one welcomed by both China and Russia. Syria must seize this opportunity to cooperate with the international community (including the U.S. and Russia) and begin the process of inspections and elimination of its chemical weapons as soon as possible in moving toward a diplomatic solution. More importantly, the U.S. must no longer interfere in Syrian politics and abandon thoughts of military action. Only by so doing will it truly give Syria and the Middle East a chance for peace.

Russia proposed that Syria give up its chemical weapons to international oversight in order to forestall military action by the U.S. The proposal was well-received by Syria, which has now moved to announce that it will join the Chemical Weapons Convention; the international community will be glad to see Syria honor its promise of giving up chemical weapons. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Parliament both welcomed the move. Following the collective diplomatic efforts of the international community, Syria voluntarily proffering its chemical weapons has left the U.S. with little excuse for military action in the short term and will move resolution of the conflict back onto the track of political dialogue.

But despite a broadly positive international response, Syria's signing of the CWC is no substitute for the commencement of inspections and the destruction of its chemical weapons, U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Marie Harf said. President Obama has also emphasized that he will not rule out the use of military strikes and that such strikes are likely if the Syrian regime fails to honor its promises. A recent precedent was set when the Libyan government gave up its chemical weapons and still suffered U.S. military strikes. Furthermore, the process of transferring Syria's chemical weapons will become a significant point of contention, with more negotiations and military threats yet to be played out.

Developments on the ground in Syria during the coming weeks will be felt throughout the Middle East, even around the globe. Accordingly, the international community should urge all parties involved to adopt dialogue and cooperation in place of armed conflict. On one hand, the Syrian regime must adhere to the stipulations of the CWC and actively comply with U.N. inspections under the monitoring of the international community, publishing genuine information regarding the quantity of chemical weapons held and the location of stockpiles as well as thoroughly destroying them. Meanwhile, and as a matter of paramount importance, the U.S. must no longer interfere in Syrian politics so as not to cause further chaos. As we are all aware, the U.S.-led Western nations are the primary instigators of the events that have led to today's dire circumstances in Syria, and they are also the largest backers of the Syrian opposition. The U.S. and other Western nations must cease interference and work through the channels of U.N. mediation to urge all Syrian factions to end the violence and return to peace talks, using political means to resolve the crisis. Only through this can Middle Eastern peace and stability be maintained in accordance with the collective interests of the international community.



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