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Looking back at Kosovo can move the Syria conflict forward

Middle East, Uncategorized

Looking back at Kosovo can move the Syria conflict forward

LLOYD AXWORTHY AND ALLAN ROCK

 Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 7:00AM EDT

President Obama seems finally ready to engage in Syria with more than hollow rhetoric. Sadly, this comes after more than 100,000 deaths, two million refugees and massive internal destruction. It comes too after sustained inaction has allowed fanatic Islamists to infiltrate the opposition. But there is finally a hardening resolve to stop the carnage and uphold international law, including the prohibition against using chemical weapons.

Given the dim prospects for agreement in the Security Council, the President was right last week when he cited the 1999 Kosovo intervention as an appropriate precedent. At the time, Canada was on the UN Security Council and played an active role leading to the intervention, in which we took part. Blocked at the Council by a Russian veto, the intervention took place under the auspices of NATO. The “Kosovo model” might prove instructive for those looking at their options in today’s Syria. What are its lessons?

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