Friday, 30 August 2013

Syria: Britain's Role a a Global Player.

Osborne also said the White House, which may now press ahead with strikes alone, had shown a lot of understanding. However, he acknowledged it could place a strain on the "special relationship" between Britain and the US.

"I think there will be a national soul-searching about our role in the world and whether Britain wants to play a big part in upholding the international system, be that a big open and trading nation that I'd like us to be or whether we turn our back on that,"

"I understand the deep scepticism that my colleagues in parliament and many members of the public have about British involvement in Syria. I hope this doesn't become the moment where we turn our back on the world's problems."
After Cameron was defeated In Parliament on a vote on military action, Chancellor Osborne is positioning himself to win over those in the Party and Public sceptical about Cameron's leadershop the better to to pose as a potential alternative pole in the Conservative Party in readiness for Hague resigning or being sacked.

Qatar is a major investor in Britain and supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas as North Sea gas depletes rapidly. Qatar is not going to be impressed with Britain not being there to defend its commercial and energy interests through backing the insurgents opposed to Assad and its Persian Gulf rival Iran.

Already Western diplomats from nations in NATO and France as part of the 'Friends of Syria' Group have been backing Washington's stance on coercive dipomacy , that is missile attacks, to ratchet up the pressure to get Assad's departure and a political transition.

If the consequences of the Syria Crisis escalate to a higher level than the specific issue of chemical weapons use within Syria following a US led missile attack, NATO could intervene and a new vote not specifically concerned with chemical weapons but joining NATO intervention could be held in Parliament.

This bleak possibility reflects the fact this conflict is the opening part of a renewed struggle for the protection and control of energy resources that Europe desperately needs to be reduce dependency on Russia and where the US has national interests as importer of and exporter of oil and gas.

Should the US proceed to launch missile strikes and the Syrian crisis develops into a region wide war, Britain would quite possibly be drawn in to military operation if Turkey, a NATO member, was threatened or attacked by Assad.

Alternatively, another motion could be preposed on Syria not based on chemical weapons but on Assad's danger to 'the international community' if events spiral out of control. Then Miliband would vote for military action to protect Britain's interests in the region, that is the oil and gas supplies.


* France is due to hold a Friends of Syria meeting in Paris very soon.

** Rueters reported on 27 August
The Friends of Syria core group comprises the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
U.N. experts trying to establish what exactly happened in the attack were finally able to cross the frontline on Monday to see survivors - despite being shot at in government-held territory. But they put off a second visit until Wednesday.
"The Americans are tying any military action to the chemical weapons issue. But the message is clear; they expect the strike to be strong enough to force Assad to go to Geneva and accept a transitional government with full authority," a Syrian opposition figure said.
"The message to the opposition was to get a team ready for Geneva, and be prepared for the possibility of a transition. But we must also be ready for the possibility of the collapse of the regime. If the strike ends up to be crippling, and if they hit the symbols of the regime's military power in Damascus it could collapse," the source said.
This entire conflict has always been about energy interests. NATO has made 'energy security' one of its priorities in recent years and NATO aided the air strikes on Libya in 2011. The EU is also a backer of the Friends of Syria and France has pledged to aid the Syrian 'rebels'.

France to respect EU rules on weapons to Syrian opposition
'We have committed with other (EU) member states to only make deliveries to the Syrian National Coalition with the aim to protect the civilian population and to demand guarantees on the end users and destination of equipment in order to assure an attentive follow-up," Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said Wednesday when questioned about more weapons for the SNC'
The British government is going to look at other ways of consulting with EU and Western powers to preserve its energy security and commericial interests with the Gulf monarchies. Osborne knows the economic value of these ties

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