BEIJING, Oct. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Much to the regret of the international community, hopes for a holiday cease-fire in Syria were dashed from the very beginning. The inability of the two sides to honor the cease-fire lays bare the lack of mutual trust between the belligerent parties in the Middle East country and the difficulty in brokering even temporary peace.
Calm should have reigned in Syria during the four-day Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which started on Friday and ended on Monday. Last week both the Syrian government and the majority of the opposition armed forces had agreed to the holiday cease-fire proposed by UN-Arab League special representative Lakhdar Brahimi.
However, it seems neither side in the chaos-ridden country intended to keep their word, and about 150 people were reportedly killed on the first day of the supposed cease-fire. As always, the conflicting parties blamed each other.
This was the second time this year a United Nations-led effort to mediate a truce in Syria has been to no avail. Yet, the difficulty in brokering a cease-fire in Syria should not discourage the world community from supporting the UN to play a leading role in mediating and solving the Syria crisis politically. Instead, it should step up the mediation efforts and persuade all parties in Syria to attend to the interests of their country and the people.
Since the crisis broke out 19 months ago, both Syria and its people have paid a heavy price. According to UN estimates, more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria, with some 2.5 million Syrians in dire need of humanitarian aid and more than 340,000 fleeing their homeland.
The international community should resolutely seek a political resolution to the Syria crisis, as it is the only way to solve the issue in peace.
While the magnitude of the lack of mutual trust between conflicting parties in Syria is appalling, that should not prevent more efforts from being made to secure a workable cease-fire. Hence, it is good to learn that Brahimi is not disheartened and is looking ahead to new diplomatic efforts to tackle the crisis.
Ending the violence is the top priority in Syria now.
(Source: China Daily)