Tuesday 19th of February 2019 Sahafi.jo | Ammanxchange.com
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Seizing the opportunity - Editorial, The Jordan Times



Now that the long wait is over and the US, together with the UK and France, made good on their week-long promise to lodge an attack on Syrian chemical facilities by attacking one in the outskirt of Damascus and two other storage sites in the Homs area, the question is what is next.
President Donald Trump declared the joint military campaign against Syrian chemical facilities as "mission accomplished", and British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President  Emmanuel Macron echoed similar judgements after having described their joint missile attacks as highly successful.
Yet, the core Syrian conflict remains unsolved and volatile, despite the military gains by Damascus, aided and abetted by Russian aerial support and Iranian ground forces.
After eight years, the essence of the Syrian crisis remains for all intents and purposes unchanged.
The Arab summit in Saudi Arabia is called upon, therefore, to seize this opportunity to play a more active role in the Syrian quagmire by extending Arab diplomacy to the problem.
Syria's seat at pan-Arab meetings remains vacant after the oppressive and provocative way it dealt with the early signs of discontent in Syria in 2011, and long before the conflict assumed broader dimensions after other players entered the scene and ended up complicating the conflict.
Had the Arab world intervened more effectively right from the start, Syria could have been saved from wider regional and international interventions.
Jordan said from day one back in 2011 that the Syrian conflict cannot be solved except by a genuine, democratic political discourse within Syria itself and away from foreign interventions.
What better forum to search for a just and equitable solution to the Syrian problem than the Arab summit.
The Syrian conflict is, after all, an Arab problem. The Arab leaders attending the summit must at least try to give the Syrian bloody conflict a serious perusal, even if necessary by inviting Damascus.

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