European countries have begun to take steps towards approving a document submitted by France entitled “A Like-Minded Group,” which proposes to reject “any Syrian presidential elections that do not take place according to [UN Security Council] Resolution 2254” and to cut off the path to normalization with Damascus after the presidential elections, scheduled for the end of May.
Representatives of European countries began meetings to approve a draft of the French document and to take a unified position on the presidential elections, based on a previous draft that dealt with parliamentary and presidential elections, according to what was published by Asharq Al-Awsat.
The draft aims to “give the UN mediation that was suspended for three years regarding the constitution a new political impetus that would contribute to re-linking the political process with the Syrian people, inside and outside the country, and confront the Russian leadership with regards to the political process,” in addition to “opposing the attempts of the Syrian regime and its allies to announce the end of the crisis by conducting sham elections in 2021 without committing to implementing the political process based on Resolution 2254 or directly dealing with the deep-running causes of the current crisis.”
The draft added, “the upcoming 2021 Syrian presidential elections will be held in accordance with the constitutional provisions and laws currently in force, under the umbrella and sole control of the ruling Syrian regime. These elections will be used by the ruling regime and its supporters to unilaterally announce the end of the Syrian crisis, without committing to the aspirations of the people, and these elections would constitute a great deterrent and barrier in the face of refugees.”
The document pointed out that “European countries that have suffered the direct and permanent consequences of the ongoing Syrian crisis, in terms of security and immigration, have a great interest in preventing the political process from deviating from its correct course by means of mock presidential elections,” affirming that “holding free and fair elections that are in full accordance with Resolution 2254 is what contributes in a real and effective way to settling the crisis instead of exacerbating it. It is clear that such elections will not take place in the short term.”
It has been decided that the member states of the European Union will endorse elements of the document in a European statement on the tenth anniversary of the protests on March 15, in addition to “raising the level of influence in the United Nations and strengthening Arab ownership of the Syrian election process, as a cornerstone of efforts to settle the Syrian crisis.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.