Israeli President Suggests Arab League Form Interim Syrian Gov’t

UN Observer in Syria. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Neeraj Singh

As the conflict in Syria reaches it’s two-year mark this month, a government official from one of Syria’s neighbors made his own recommendation to end the fighting on Tuesday: broader intervention by the Arab League. Israeli President Shimon Peres, speaking to the European parliament, said the organization of Arab states “can and should form a provisional government in Syria to stop the massacre, to prevent Syria from falling to pieces.”

The Syrian civil war has continued to spiral downward, with the United Nations’ estimates of 70,000 killed and hundreds of thousands of refugees. So far a mutually-agreeable political solution has yet to be put on the table to end the fighting and establish a Syrian government that represents the nations’ citizens.

Peres, according to a pre-delivery copy of his speech released by his office, suggested to the European governments that the UN ought to support an Arab peacekeeping force for Syria as well.

“The best solution to put an end to the Syrian tragedy might be achieved by empowering the Arab League, of which Syria is a member, to intervene,” said Peres. “The intervention of Western forces would be perceived as a foreign interference.”

One of the ongoing concerns in Syria is the involvement of Hezbollah terrorists from Lebanon, which itself has been put more in danger by the group. Peres noted that Hezbollah has hidden missiles in “peaceful towns and villages” in Lebanon and has divided the multi-ethnic nation.

Furthermore, Peres said Hezbollah has attempted 20 terror attacks across the globe, ranging from the bus bombing in Bulgaria to plots in India, Thailand, the US and more. Peres has repeatedly called for Europe to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and he repeated that call on Tuesday.

“Your voice is highly respected. We appeal to you—call terror—terror. Save Lebanon from terrorist madness. Save the Syrian people from Iran’s proxies. Save your citizens and ours from Hezbollah,” said Peres.

“The international community must designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”

In his speech, Peres also urged that a “clear voice” be raised against Iranian human rights abuses. “A moral voice will encourage the Iranian people in their fight for freedom, in their struggle against misery,” said the elder statesman. “Very soon, elections will take place in Iran. The Ayatollahs should not be allowed to falsify the results. To frustrate the right of the people to make their own free choice. Your voice will show the Iranian people that the world has not turned its back on them.”

The European Union on Monday did take some further steps against Iran by slightly expanding sanctions against Tehran over its human rights record. The restrictive measures were also extended by 12 months, according to an EU press release.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, March 12, 2013)