Arnon Grunberg



On the comeback of Assad – Christoph Schult and Severin Weiland in Der Spiegel:

‘DER SPIEGEL: Minister Safadi, the civil war in Syria has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, more than half of the population has been displaced and 90 percent of the Syrian people now live below the poverty line. Why did the Arab League decide to re-invite Syrian dictator Bashar Assad despite the fact that he hasn't met any of the international community's demands?

Ayman Safadi: The Syrian crisis has been ongoing for 12 years. It caused tremendous suffering to the Syrian people and a serious threat to regional and global security. We, as a bordering country with Syria, are suffering tremendously from that conflict as well: We have 1.3 million Syrians in Jordan, and only 10 percent live in refugee camps. Fifty percent are under 15 years old. We give them full access to our schools. We have issued 320,000 work permits to Syrians against a backdrop of 24 percent unemployment. We cannot afford the status quo. To that end, we produced a Jordanian initiative to solve the crisis on a step by step basis. We are seeking a political solution that ends the suffering of the Syrians, consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.’


DER SPIEGEL: Are you calling for more realpolitik in the Syria conflict?

Safadi: What's the alternative? Everyone agrees that there is no military solution to the crisis. We have to talk. Engagement does not mean endorsement. There are 3.5 million Syrians who do not go to school. Should we lose another generation? It was hopeless people who joined the Islamic State terror organization. The status quo is making the situation worse for all, mainly the Syrian people.
DER SPIEGEL: Did you talk to Assad about the drug industry, which has become one of the main sources of income for the Syrian regime? Safadi: We have clearly discussed the danger of drug smuggling operations into Jordan.’


‘DER SPIEGEL: But you're talking to the Russians. You met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Safadi: Russia is on our borders. It is present in Syria. To be honest: Russia in Syria is a stabilizing factor compared to the alternative and the chaos it would lead to.’


‘DER SPIEGEL: Last week, you visited Berlin to attend a meeting of the "Munich Group" comprised of Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan. Does the group really believe it can reanimate the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians? Safadi: The Munich Group started out in 2020 at a very difficult time. There was no other effort to address the extremely important issue of peacemaking in the region, and we moved international attention back to this oldest conflict in the region. In 2020, we faced a danger of Israeli plans to confiscate 30 percent of the West Bank by then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Munich Group played a central role in standing up to that decision. It reflects our collective commitment to achieve just peace.’


‘DER SPIEGEL: When Donald Trump was U.S. president, together with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, he promoted a number of treaties between Israel and Arab countries, also known as the Abraham Accords. Can these agreements foster peace and prosperity in the Middle East? Safadi: Our view has always been that all peace treaties should contribute to solving the core conflict of the region, which is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If that criteria is met, an agreement is also to the benefit of the region. You cannot jump over the Palestinian issue, you cannot act as if it does not exist.’

Read the interview here.

Realpolitik, when there is no military solution, embrace the dictator and war criminal.

And Russia as a stabilizing factor in Syria.

And keep in mind that Mr. Safadi is airing the opinions, more or less, of Biden and Germany, in other words the West.

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