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Ayed: How should Canada respond to the rising violence in Syria?

By: /
27 February, 2012
By: Nahlah Ayed
London correspondent for CBC News The National

While it’s necessary to apply pressure on the Assad regime “with all possible means” to halt the bloodshed and allow immediate humanitarian aid to those who desperately need it, with Russia and China backing it, the current regime will continue on its present course. Canada isn’t an influential enough player to singlehandedly have sway with either the Syrian regime (nor with the Russians or the Chinese) or with the Syrian opposition. What Canada could do, in concert with other countries, is provide technical and perhaps financial assistance to help the opposition unify its ranks, and streamline its message to appeal to Syrians thus far apprehensive about aligning themselves with the other side. In the apparent absence of direct military intervention as an option or even the implementation of a humanitarian “safe-passage” corridor, that’s probably the most useful contribution any nation could make in the interest of advancing Syria’s revolt for the time being. But it’s important to note: in the short term, that will do nothing to stop the killing.

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