Regional role and the ever present Israeli threat

It is normal that the parliamentary majority is the one that controls foreign policy in any democratic country, or that that is in transition towards democracy. However, like all democratic countries, or those in transition towards democracy, there must be fixed basic principles from which wavering is not possible. We could preserve this principle through determining the level of political issues that no future government, even if it came through a democratically elected parliament, could decide without reverting to higher national references. Such references could either be in the parliament, for some issues, or through direct public referendums in some major steps, like those relating to national security, relating to signing or cancelling co-operation agreements with other countries, or those related to signing any agreement with the Israeli party.

Statements and practices that were issued by some opposition factions, especially from the National Council, caused much concern among a large segment of Syrians with regards what they believe to be Syria’s principles and here national and regional role that she accumulated over the past decades, which is the aggregate that this important segment would like to preserve and not waste. We believe that it is necessary to insist on seeking the opinion of the Syrian citizen when any government would face requirements of key or historical nature, and such key decisions would not be left for an unbound behaviour that could be made by any future government, even if democratically elected. A mechanism to commit government to obtain parliament’s approval before going through decisions at such a level should be legislated, in order to force the ministry of foreign affairs to co-ordinate with the foreign affairs committee in the parliament and with the president, prior to moving forward on any key or historical decisions.

There is no point ignoring that the current crisis revealed a real division among Syrians in their perception of the neighbouring and regional states, and to the sought relations with the countries of the region and the world. Anyone who would lead Syria in the future should understand this division, try to understand its reasons and, therefore, not to ignore it in any decisions he or she might take. Those who would want to present a certain approach must work on gaining the opinion of the masses through convincing this crowed and communicating with them, not to impose it on them. They should also stop demonising the ally states of the other faction and sanctifying their own. Syria’s regional policies were only successful when she managed to preserve balance between regional blocs.

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