Mogherini discusses ‘proxy peace’ for post-war Syria

Dima Suchin
By Dima Suchin
March 15, 2017News
Mogherini discusses ‘proxy peace’ for post-war Syria

Syria needs a “proxy peace” instead of the proxy war that has raged in the country for six years and killed some 320,000 people, the top European Union diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said on Tuesday (March 14).

The Syrian war, which has also displaced millions, continues unabated, largely due to the international community’s failure to agree on how to end it, with the United States and Russia, as well as their respective regional allies, backing rival sides.

EU capital Brussels will host an international conference on Syria on April 5, hoping to create new momentum. The EU has, however, long played only a marginal role international efforts to resolve the conflict.

Mogherini has for months been talking to eight regional players in the Middle East—including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Lebanon—seeking to find even the most minimal common ground between them on what the future peace could look like.

The 28-nation bloc, a leading aid donor, has threatened it would not pay for reconstruction should Russia and its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad crush the Western-backed opposition entirely.

EU officials say the Middle East states agreed they do not want a frozen conflict in Syria or have the state break apart, as it would continue to feed instability on their doorsteps for years.

The EU has fed that to the U.N. Syria negotiator who in late February opened another round of talks in Geneva between Damascus and rebel and opposition groups seeking to oust Assad.

Mogherini will present her thoughts to a meeting of EU’s foreign ministers on April 3.

Separate, Russia-led Syria talks were derailed on Tuesday over a boycott by rebels backed by Turkey.


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