"...Saudi Arabia has not welcomed the progress on the diplomatic and disarmament tracks. Riyadh would have preferred a US military attack on Syria and a proactive regime change policy toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The kingdom’s frustration spilled out last week when it refused a long-sought seat on the UN Security Council, in part because of “the Security Council’s inability to carry out its duties and responsibility” in Syria. The kingdom may now be working with its opposition allies and others for a more explicit statement that Assad would not stand for reelection in Syria’s 2014 elections as a condition of participation in the conference...On al Mayadeen (just now) President Assad said that these conditions were/ are a deal killer & that he is running in 2014'!
If Geneva II is delayed, or inconclusive, and fighting continues in Syria into next year, there is a chance Assad could extend his term beyond the 2014 elections, perhaps through constitutional amendment, if necessary, unless the current constitution allows an extension under exceptional circumstances. Elections, even with international observers, which Syria might otherwise accept, could not be held in a war zone.
In other words, seeking to condition Geneva II on Assad’s not running in the 2014 elections, a likely deal killer for Damascus and Moscow, could have the consequence of assuring Assad stays longer, if elections are postponed.
The Saudi position stands in contrast to rumblings of change in Ankara’s Syria policy. On Oct. 15, Turkish forces responded with artillery fire to mortar shelling from Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS),...."
Monday, October 21, 2013
'Conditioning Geneva II on Assad’s not running in 2014, will assure Assad stays longer!'
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 3:03 PM