Syria: Room for Peaceful Compromise?

A Syrian national dialogue must begin before there can be discussions of President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation, Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said. The opposition said that the government just try to buy some time and the US also dismissed Jamil’s words.


Would it be possible to base something on Jamil’s statement to find  some compromise or after the months of the bloody conflict it is  impossible?


James Denselow, Writer on Middle East politics and security issues

Considering the amount of blood shed in the conflict in Syria to date it would appear very difficult to see how a process could somehow include both the regime and the opposition. Put simply both sides deny the legitimacy of the other with the opposition viewing any form of political response from the regime, be it the ending of the emergency law, increased citizenship for the Kurds, as a cynical effort distracting from the clampdown against them. This said the new UN representative Lakhdar Brahimi has a narrow opportunity to see if there is any room for a neutral mediator to find room for peaceful compromise that could prevent the conflict worsening.

Nadim Shehadi, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

It is of course very difficult to refuse an offer for dialogue in order to achieve a consensus that will end the bloodshed and lead to a peaceful solution. These are very nice words but there has to be a minimum of confidence in the regime on behalf of the opposition for them to accept this and the short answer to your question is that there is absolutely no confidence that would allow this to happen. The regime has been playing too many games with both the international community and with its own people. It was successful for a very long time but it seems that the tactics have become too obvious and too flagrant for them to work. If anything the call by the regime will be suspected of aiming at splitting the opposition between those who believe it is worth a try and those who totally reject. I am fairly confident that such maneuvers do not work anymore, after 47 years, the Syrians have learned their lessons.

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