The OIC moment

The pan-Islamic bloc is testing the waters on Syria. Though it won’t be that simple to pronounce a strategy on its own while dealing with the crisis in Syria, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation can, at least, make an attempt to knock at the doors of Damascus.

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Published: Thu 16 Aug 2012, 7:08 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 12:41 AM

President Bashar Al Assad is in need of being engaged in a dialogue that should come to serve the purpose of ensuring peaceful transition. The suggestion put forth by the council of ministers in the holy city of Makkah to suspend the strife-torn country’s membership from the 57-member body would not work. It would hardly bring any pressure on an unrelenting regime that is making every endeavour to stay put in power at the altar of the nation and regional security.

If history is any criterion, the OIC and other similar regional bodies had used this suspension card in the case of many other flashpoints — only to regret and embrace back the ousted member state with the change of ground realities. While diplomacy is all about the art of the impossible, the OIC should concentrate more on cultivating the Baath Party, than sideling it for reasons of political exigency.

The situation today in Syria is one of warfare and chaos. Reports say that militias, both pro and anti-Assad, have taken positions across the length and breadth of the country. This makes the scenario all the more complicated, as it depicts an episode from Afghanistan. The point that Russia and China are in a ballgame of realpolitik with Iran and a cluster of militant organisations at the beck and call of Damascus makes it a horrendous equation. The United Nations, which has been in search of a medium to convince Syria to step back from the brink, can utilise the services of the OIC. That would only be possible if the pan-Islamic body keeps its doors open for Damascus. Syria and the like are too accustomed to the ploys of sanctions and suspension.



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