by Xinhua Writer Xu Ke
BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Syria crisis enters the fourth year on Saturday and, still with no peaceful solution whatsoever on the horizon, is sadly set to drag on.
The raging gunfire in the Middle East country, along with the simmering tensions in the Central European country of Ukraine, is a stark reminder of the West's irresponsible and dangerous hobby of starting fires they cannot quench.
The turmoil in Syria started three years ago as nothing unusual, given the spates of political upheavals and social disturbances that had already been sweeping the region.
Yet thanks to the biased meddling of the West, which turned a blind eye to -- or was too arrogant to comprehend -- the realities of the large Arab country, solvable unrest shortly degenerated into uncontrollable war.
Three years on, the flames of war have reduced the once safe and beautiful country into a humanitarian nightmare. UN figures show that more than 100,000 people have been killed, some 680,000 others injured and at least 6.5 million internally displaced.
The lofty slogans of democracy and human rights the West chanted when reaching out its interfering hands still echo in the ears, but only ring empty and hollow now.
The noble values the West exploited as the pretext for intervention remain elusive, and it is the Syrian people and their beloved homeland that have paid the huge price.
Unfortunately, the tragedy in Syria, which stars an unrealistic and bigoted West that hallows its system as the only right one and refuses to recognize country-specific actualities and the diversity of human civilization, is being repeated in Ukraine.
With Crimea set to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to break away from Ukraine, the West's narrow-minded and self-centered modus operandi is once again pushing a country to the brink of disintegration.
That should stop now. Too much blood has been shed and too many lives sacrificed for the West to remain detached from reality and stick to its illusions any longer.
No people and no country should become the West's cannon fodder to extend the reach of its clout or guinea pigs to test the viability of its values. Should the West really cherish its institutions, it needs to open its eyes right now and stop its edifice from further erosion.
Western players, therefore, should first abandon its lopsided mindset and take out sincere measures to join the broader international community in putting an immediate end to all violence.
Then they should listen to the voices of all parties concerned and help create favorable conditions for talks and negotiations so as to promote political processes and eventually produce peaceful solutions.
Only in that way can the West be productive in the settlement of these crises. Given the excruciating pain already inflicted upon the Syrian and Ukrainian people, it is high time for the West to do so.
UN chief once again appeals world to reenergize Syria peace talks
UNITED NATIONS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday appealed once again to the international community to reenergize Syria peace talks to end what is now "the world's biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis" after three years of bloodshed.
"I deeply regret the failure of the international community, represented by all of us in this hall, the region and the Syrians themselves, to put a stop to this appalling conflict," he told an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly on Syria. Full story
Displaced Syrian refugees pessimistic about end of violence
BEIRUT, March 14 (Xinhua) -- At the time when the Syrian crisis enters the fourth year, the Syrian refugees in Lebanon numbering over 957,000 are still suffering from miserable living conditions and they are pessimistic about the end of violence in their homeland.
In the eastern Bekaa region, a number of Syrian refugees gather around a small TV unit placed over a wooden box to follow the news regarding the latest developments of the battle of Yabroud, the clashes in Aleppo and the armed conflict between the rival fundamentalists namely ISIS and AL-Nusra Front, and the future of the Geneva peace talks on Syria. Full story
Syria applies reciprocal measures on entry of Arabs
DAMASCUS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Syria, which was once the only Arab state that allows Arabs to enter its territories without visa, has finally applied the principle of reciprocity on Arabs and other foreigners alike, after the influx of terrorists to carry out anti-government attacks.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a new law on Tuesday, introducing restrictions on the entry of foreigners into the country.Full story