Article by Lord Owen published in The Guardian 3 May 2013
Syrians need a regional settlement that is owned by the region – and the UN security council must make that happen
The lesson of history for dealing with Syria in 2013 is to avoid a repeat of 1919. At the Paris conference dominated by the United States, Britain and France, Lloyd George was heard to say: “Mesopotamia … yes … oil … irrigation … we must have Mesopotamia [which was destined to be in Iraq]. Palestine … yes. The Holy Land … Zionism … we must have Palestine. Syria … hm; what is there in Syria? Let the French have that.” Henceforth Damascus was under the French, and the Emir Faisal I, King of Greater Syria, was double-crossed, and with him, Lawrence of Arabia..
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Article by Lord Owen published in The Telegraph 27 September, 2012
In New York this week, addressing the UN General Assembly, David Cameron said of Syria: “The blood of these young children is a terrible stain on the reputation of the United Nations.” This is too glib. The reputation that is being damaged is not that of the UN, but of the five permanent members of the Security Council: China, France, the US, Britain and Russia. They are the core of the realpolitik that has meant that the UN did not go the way of the League of Nations, even during the strains of the Cold War. It is the responsibility of these nations to forge realistic compromises and take account of their differing interests. To read the full article click here
Civilian deaths have led to doubts over Nato’s Libya campaign. Yet to stop now would be a huge defeat for humanitarian order
Article by David Owen, published in The Guardian, Thursday, 23 June, 2011
Nato’s operation in the air over Libya started on 19 March under a UN resolution and at the specific request of the Arab League. Its immediate effect was to ensure that Benghazi was not overrun by the Gaddafi forces who were poised for victory.
To ensure there was no Russian or Chinese veto, and to satisfy some EU members who were not ready to be part of a military intervention, it was necessary to strictly limit Nato’s activity. read more…..
Article on Libya by The Rt Hon Lord Owen Published in the The Times Tuesday, 19 April 2011
When I first advocated on Monday, 21 February a no-fly-zone over Libya to protect Libyan citizens from the overwhelming military superiority of the Gaddafi regime, liberation forces were in control of most of the cities and towns that bordered the Mediterranean coast apart from Tripoli. read more…..
Published in the Daily Mirror Friday, 18 March 2011
If you are watching the crises unfold throughout the Middle East, Britain’s approach might seem schizophrenic.
While the UK’s official response to crackdown in Libya was vocal against the Libyan authorities and in favour of the rebels, in Bahrain the response has been almost mute by comparison.
In part this is becauseof vested reasons Britain has deep interests in maintaining links with some Arab countries and not others. read more…..
Published in the Sunday Times Sunday, 27 February 2011
For now the priority must be safeguarding the people of Libya, but Western powers must take a long, hard look at how it got this far at all
The appalling handling of Gadaffi since he came to power in 1969 raises some fundamental questions. In the next few weeks, the priority must be to safeguard people’s lives in Libya. National governments have a duty to safeguard the lives of their own citizens in the country. But we must not duck out of our responsibility for those Libyans showing immense courage in trying to overthrow the Gadaffi regime.
It is not conceivable that we can watch from Nato airbases close to Libya while Gadaffi and his sons unleash on their people the weapons with which our countries supplied him. read more…..