Socialist meet calls for no intervention in Syria

Socialist meet calls for no intervention in Syria

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Socialist meet calls for no intervention in Syria

Demonstrators protest against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Sermada, near Idlib. Activists say at least 20,000 people have been killed so far across the country. REUTERS photo

The Socialist International (SI) has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost his legitimacy but warned the world against any kind of intervention that would lead the Syrian people into greater conflict.

“Everybody should stand against any kind of intervention that would lead the Syrian people into deeper conflict,” an SI resolution on passed on Sept. 1, the last day of the organization’s 24th congress, said.

The SI congress, which was held under the title “For a New Internationalism and a New Culture of Solidarity,” in the South African executive capital Cape Town was opened on Aug. 30 and closed on Sept. 1.

Following debates on the last day of the congress, three resolutions were passed touching on the main theme of the gathering. First a resolution was passed under the heading “For an economy with jobs, growth and social protection: the social democratic response to the financial crisis,” addressed the need for financial reform.

The second resolution was passed on “The struggle for rights and freedoms: strengthening representative democracy and gaining new democracies around the world,” highlighting global perspectives on democracy. Touching upon the ongoing Syrian conflict, the SI called on the United Nations and the Arab League to act urgently for securing peace in the region.

Human rights in Turkey

The SI, which currently brings together 161 political parties and organizations from all continents, also voiced its concern over imprisoned lawmakers as well as prolonged detentions of journalists, students and public servants in Turkey, indicating that the situation brings judicial independence into question. “In Turkey, elected members of Parliament are being obstructed from performing their duties by arbitrary court decisions. This is contrary to the stipulations of the U.N. international covenant on civil and political rights; and the European Convention on Human Rights, bringing into question the independence of the judiciary which is a fundamental condition of democracy. The situation is a violation on human rights along with the prolonged detention of journalists, students and public servants among others in Turkey; it is a cause for concern,” the SI resolution said.

The issue of jailed deputies in Turkey was included in the Europe section of the resolution upon a proposal by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). Turkey’s Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), meanwhile, proposed a paragraph to denounce the Uludere tragedy, where 34 civilian Kurdish villagers who were smuggling oil from Iraq were mistakenly killed in a botched air raid by Turkish jets last year. However, this proposal did not gain acceptance, including from the CHP. The SI congress also passed a resolution “For a common road to peace, sustainability and cooperation: the need to secure multilateralism,” to underline the necessity of greater cooperation in finding answers to common challenges.

Addressing the congress before the conclusion, South African President Jacob Zuma called on the SI to be more active in the international arena. “The voice of the Socialist International must be heard today more than any other time before, particularly, because of the challenges that face the world today – on matters of governance, rights of people, democracy, economic development and poverty, inequality and unemployment that face the world,” Zuma said. SI President George Papandreou, for his part, said that they would continue to be more active in the global arena, and to create greater dialogue and understanding.