Kofi Annan has a big, new idea on how to save Syria (because the last one worked so well) and it's a unified Syrian government with regime and opposition representatives, but Bashar al-Assad may have to be left out.
The U.N. recently conceded that the violence in Syria has eclipsed what it was before they enacted the failed peace plan, and so an emergency meeting in Geneva was called for top diplomats from Security council countries on Saturday. Reuters spoke to diplomats with knowledge of Annan's plans, and they gave this summary of what Annan's new proposal will look like:
"It could comprise present government members, opposition and others, but would need to exclude those whose continued participation or presence would jeopardize the transition's credibility, or harm prospects for reconciliation and stability," a diplomat said, summarizing Annan's proposal.
For those keeping score at home, Reuters points out that "those whose continued participation or presence would jeopardize the transition's credibility, or harm prospects for reconciliation and stability" is a really nice way of saying "hopefully without Bashar al-Assad," though his proposal doesn't explicitly say it.
Russia and "other big powers" are apparently all for the idea, and have expressed their support to Annan. This idea seems like it has as much chance of catching on as the cease-fire did. A unified government without Assad doesn't sound very likely when U.S. intelligence officials are saying that without military intervention Assad is looking poised to stay around for a very long time. If asking him to stop killing innocent civilians didn't work the last time, why would asking him to relinquish his power and compromise with opposition forces work?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.