Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Syria Agrees to End Violence Towards Anti-Government Protesters

The Arab League has proved to be more than simply a ceremonial council today with its push for an end of violence in Syria. The Arab League met in Cairo today and convinced Syrian President to end its crackdown on anti-government demonstrations, pull troops from the streets and release prisoners jailed during months of protests. The militant side of the protests, the Free Syrian Army – a group of ex-Syrian army soldiers who have taken it upon themselves to protect anti-government protesters – have also agreed to terms of peace as long as the Syrian government holds up its end of the deal. The two main opposition parties to the Syrian government, Syrian National Council and National Coordination Committee, both have had their demands for the end of Syrian military occupation of the streets. The National Coordination Committee has called many times for dialogue with the Syrian government, while the Syrian National Council, a more radical “conglomerate” of Syrian political parties, still refuses to hold talks with the government. The Arab League has offered to mediate such talks between the two sides, and if the streets of Syria remain free of violence these talks could be a reality.

The Arab League showed strong resolve stating that "in the case that the regime falls short of meeting the Arab League requirements, we will be compelled to protect the protesters and work on bringing down the regime no matter how much that may cost us.” ( This display of unity and resolve by the Arab League is encouraging. With the continued violence in other Middle Eastern countries like Yemen and Bahrain, the Arab League could become a major player in quelling violence in these countries. The Arab League of late has been fairly notorious for its inefficiency in recent matters of Middle Eastern diplomacy. If the Arab League continues to display unity like it has in this current situation with Syria, it could become a powerful player in the future of the Middle East. The League could help to protect citizens in countries still in civil unrest from the Arab Spring; it could help direct the forming governments of Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Iraq in their quest for democracy; and it could bring legitimacy to Middle Eastern governments in international affairs.

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