Nominated in 2014,before the Russian military intervention against the jihadists, Staffan de Mistura is a pro-US diplomat whose job consists of working for peace in Syria in the name of the UNO. Four years later, he continues to seek loop-holes which benefit the Western powers.

The special envoy for the Secretary General of the UNO for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, received a delegation of the Astana Group (Iran, Russia, Turkey) in Geneva, then, on 14 September, a delegation from the Syria Small Group (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United States, France, Jordan and the United Kingdom).

From the Western side, ambassador James Jeffrey and Colonel Joel Rayburn led the US delegation, while the ambassador and ex-director of the Exterior Intelligence Service (DGSE 2012-16), François Sénémaud, presided the French delegation.

Each delegation handed the UN a secret document listing their demands, with a view to applying pressure to the intra-Syrian negotiations which are currently under way. Russia Today leaked the Western document [1], just as, two weeks ago, Kommersant had leaked the internal directives of the UNO [2].

 First remark - point 3 of the Small Group document resumes the internal directive of the UNO : «There will be no international reconstruction assistance in Syrian-governement-held areas absent a credible political process that leads unalterably to constitutional reform and UN-supervised elections, to the satisfaction of potential donor countries».

Germany, which has participated in meetings of the Small Group, does not seem to have been represented at this meeting. The night before, their Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, had dissociated himself from this point. Just before he met with his Russian counterpart, Sergeï Lavrov, he tweeted that his country was ready to participate in reconstruction « if there exists a political solution leading to free elections [3] [4]. »While for the Small Group and the UNO, reconstruction will not begin until the potential donor countries have attained their war objectives, for Germany, it can accompany the process of political reconciliation.

 Second remark – the different international interlocutors refer to resolution 2254 of 18 December 2015 [5]. However, the Small Group extrapolates the meaning of the text. Although the resolution of the Security Council states that the composition of the Constitution is the affair only of the Syrians between themselves, the Small Group declares that it must be drawn up only by a Committee placed under the auspices and control of the UNO.

This is obviously aimed at sabotaging the decisions taken in Sotchi, in other words, to destroy what has been achieved over the last few months and oppose the role of Russia in the solution to the crisis [6]. The United States aim to conserve their status as the indispensable power, while the United Kingdom and France intend to pursue their colonial project.

 Third remark - the Small Group means not only to transfer the responsibility for the composition of the Constitution from Sotchi to Geneva, it already has an idea what it should be. This would be to reproduce the model that Washington has already imposed on Iraq, and which maintains a state of permanent crisis for the greater benefit of the Western powers. The powers of the President would be exclusively formal; those of the Prime Minister would be non-existent at a regional level; and those of the army would be limited.

The colonial powers maintain their power in the Near East behind an appearance of democracy. They always manage to constitute governments which do not represent their people. Since 1926 in Lebanon and since 2005 in Iraq, the institutions have been conceived above all to prevent these countries from once again becoming nation-states. Lebanon is divided into religious communities, and Iraq into distinct regions according to the predominance of a religious community. As for Israël, it no longer has a representative government, not because of its Constitution – it doesn’t have one – but because of its electoral system.

 Fourth remark – while resolution 2254 specifies that elections must be held under the supervision of the UNO, the Small Group considers that the Syrian agency in charge of their organisation must work daily under the orders of the UNO, notably in matters concerning eventual complaints of fraud.

In this way, the Western powers conserve for themselves the possibility of cancelling results which do not correspond to their wishes – it would be enough to register a complaint and declare that it is valid. The Syrian People would have the right to vote as long as they fall into the trap which has been laid for them, and even then, on the condition that they vote for the leaders who have been chosen for them.

In Europe, the citizens are seeking their sovereignty, in Syria, they are fighting for their independence.

Pete Kimberley

[1Statement of Principles for the Syria Small Group”, Voltaire Network, 18 September 2018.

[2Parameters and Principles of UN assistance in Syria”, by Jeffrey D. Feltman, Voltaire Network, 3 September 2018.

[3“Wenn es eine politische Lösung in #Syrien gibt, die zu freien Wahlen führt, sind wir bereit Verantwortung beim Wiederaufbau zu übernehmen”

[4Germany stance conflicts with Feltman Directive”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 14 September 2018.

[5Resolution 2254 (Peace plan for Syria)”, Voltaire Network, 18 December 2015.

[6Consensus between the Syrians at Sotchi”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 6 February 2018.