Can Austria to mediate in the conflict in Syria?
Material posted: Publication date: 25-04-2018
Strikes on Syria by the United forces of USA, UK and France on 14 April has caused a wide public resonance. Austria is not left behind and called on the parties to the conflict to dialogue. What is the position of Austria in relation to this incident?

7 APR singingcurled information about the chemical attack in the Syrian city of Duma in Eastern ghouta. Killed about 70 people. Western countries blamed the Syrian government for the attack. Experts from France conducted an investigation in the Duma and came to the conclusion that information about the attack is credible. Russian experts, who visited the scene of the incident in turn had not noticed any traces of use of chemical weapons. Also, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin called the incident a chemical weapons provocation from the West.

In this situation Austria, as in most cases took a neutral position and urged to wait for the verdict of experts from the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW). The Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz said: "After the shocking use of chemical weapons on 7 April, it is time to think about establishing a peaceful diplomatic process in Syria." We can say that Austria, on the one hand calls for an independent investigation of the incident on 7 April, but on the other hand is cautious, and calls the incident "a shocking use of chemical weapons", thereby occupying the position of the Western experts. Thus, here the position of Austria is ambiguous and vague.

14 APR United States, Britain and France launched missile strikes on the Syrian government to the important objects which, in the opinion of these countries, could be used to produce chemical weapons. Just launched about 100 rockets, but most of them were destroyed by Syrian air defense. Russia and Iran have spoken out strongly against the use of military force against Syria. "Missile strikes on Syria can only exacerbate a humanitarian catastrophe in the country and to provoke a new wave of refugees," - said the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

17 April the meeting of the UN security Council at the request of Russia to discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria and the aggressive actions of the West. Permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia called for prudence and said: "Your act of aggression "Troika" and those who supported or encouraged their actions, sided with one of the parties to the conflict".

Austria again took the cautious and neutral stance in this situation. The Minister for foreign Affairs of Austria Karin Kneisl called for de-escalation of the conflict in Syria and called for the continuation of peace talks on Syria, which began in Vienna in 2015. Karin Kneisl believes that Austria can act in the role of a mediator in resolving the Syrian conflict. Austria wants to become a connecting channel between the conflicting countries. After the deterioration of relations between Russia and Western countries can lead to serious consequences. Austria is therefore ready to discuss its mediation in Brussels and in Moscow. Karin Kneisl is going to declare on the nearest Council of the European Union for foreign Affairs about the possibility of Austria to establish a constructivecontinuous dialogue between States. In addition, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Austria has dealt a visit to Moscow to discuss issuesrelated to the situation in Syria, and in order to offer their country as a possible mediator, who will help Russia and Western countries to reach consensus in a tense world situation.

It is worth noting that the European Union endorsed strikes on Syria and urged Russia and Iran to ensure the cessation of hostilities, ceasefire and non-use of chemical weapons. The EU praised the attacks in the US, UK and France on Syria as an emergency measure to prevent the use of chemical weapons. EU urged to ensure that the Syrian conflict cannot be solved with the use of military force. Thus, the European Union on the one hand endorsed the missile attack, and on the other side. So, the position of the EU can be called neutral, and it can be explained by the fact that not all EU countries have similar opinions on this issue.

Thus, the common EU position and the position of Austria to some extent coincide. Therefore, it is possible that Austria will be able to act as a mediator between Russia and the EU. If the relationship will be able to establish, it will create a solid Foundation for negotiations on any issues. And it may lead to the improvement in Syria 's political situation, and to de-escalate the Syrian conflict.

Dusaev Alex

Tags: assessment , Syria , Europe