Solving Syria

My Plea to Merkel

man in air strike rubble aleppo distort
A man sits in the rubble of Aleppo, Syria.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The international community remains divided about how to tackle the situation in Syria, with Germany advocating diplomacy and others force.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Chancellor Angela Merkel is being hailed as a saviour because of her efforts to help Syrian refugees in Germany.
    • The Syrians’ hopes that they would be rescued have been dashed before, by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
    • Germany is expecting up to a million refugees this year.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

These days, the web is full of words and images praising Chancellor Angela Merkel as a hero. TV images show Syrian refugees, after they have finally made it to Germany, showering the chancellor with gratitude.

I’ve seen her compared to Mother Teresa and to King Negus of Abyssinia, who protected Muslims. We Syrians are grateful because the Germans have welcomed us with open arms.

But I also hope that my fellow Syrians don’t forget that Ms. Merkel is not the first head of state who has been seen as a savior during the civil war, which has now lasted four years.

The Syrian people had already hoped that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would bring down the regime of President Bashar Assad. But Mr. Erdogan failed. Then the Syrians believed they had found a savior in Saudi Arabian King Salman, but the king also failed.

The policies of President Assad and the civil war are the reasons why my family and four million other Syrians had to leave their country.

We must turn our attention back to the political conflict in Syria and its causes. The European and particularly the German media report on refugees, their dangerous journey to Europe, theirs hopes and their fears. They report on the Germans who bring the blankets, clothing and toys to the refugee hostels. We are grateful for that. But only talking about the human side of the conflict isn’t enough.

The policies of President Assad and the civil war are the reasons why my family and four million other Syrians had to leave their country. So far, the international community has failed to find any answers to the pressing questions in this conflict.

The Syrians who find the chancellor’s actions so heroic shouldn’t just pay attention to what she is doing for them in Germany. They should also take note of what she is doing to resolve the conflict. I would like to see Ms. Merkel take a stand for peace in the region. I want her to apply pressure to other international heads of state, so that the civil war in my country finally becomes history. That would be even more beneficial for the Syrian people. 

 

To contact the author: gastautor@handelsblatt.com

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