U.S. former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, urged for cooperation between Washington and Moscow to end the “tragedy emerging in Syria,” at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Kissinger, a Peace Nobel Laureate, said that the Syrian conflict, initially seen as a fight for democracy against dictatorship, has been transformed into a sectarian conflict.
“The outside world finds that if it intervenes militarily, it will be in the middle of a vast ethnic conflict; and if it doesn’t intervene militarily, it will be caught in a humanitarian tragedy,” Kissinger, who is currently Chairman of Kissinger Associates, said.
Kissinger, 89, said that although a number of outcomes are possible, including embattled President Bashar al-Assad Assad staying in office, a total Sunni victory, or an emergence of a loose federation of various ethnic groups, what is clear is that “the more the outside world competes, the worse it gets.”
He called for an American-Russian understanding and said the “the Syrian problem would best be dealt with internationally by Russia and America not making it a contest of national interest.”
Russia, an ally to the Assad regime, has vetoed any U.N. Security Council effort to bring about an international resolution to end the Syrian conflict.
The uprising against embattled Assad’s rule is now in its 22nd month. More than 60,000 Syrians have been killed and another 650,000 are now refugees abroad, according to the United Nations.
Kissinger also commented on the Israeli-Iranian tension and said lasting peace in the Middle East requires significant sacrifices from Israel and reciprocity from Arabs.
“I believe unilateral action by Israel would be a desperate last resort. One should give these negotiations a real chance.”
More than 2,500 participants from over 100 countries are taking part in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.