BRICS: India in the Syrian Conflict

Bouthaina Shaaban’s visit aims at countering Western and Gulf countries’ influence in Syria.
Bouthaina Shaaban’s visit aims at countering Western and Gulf countries’ influence in Syria.

Syrian Political Adviser Bouthaina Shaaban visited India last week to seek support from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the ongoing Syrian conflict. Her visit to India is part of the BRICS countries’ tour she is doing. Confronted to the rise of violence in the country in which there were more than 70000 deaths and one million refugees since beginning of the conflict, and to the Western countries’ support to the rebel forces; Syrian government is looking for alternative support from the international community.

Bouthaina Shaaban is trying to convince the BRICS nations to make a strong decision in the forthcoming meeting and support political solution in Syria. She revealed during a press conference on 8 March that a six-point plan including immediate end of violence was designed in Geneva in June 2012. However, this plan was not agreed by Syrian opposition and Western countries who added another condition of President Bashar al-Assad’s dismiss.

This demand from the ‘Western forces’ is seen as threat to Syria’s sovereignty. Independence of Syria is a point Shaaban insisted in order to convince India and other BRICS countries to help her government overcome the crisis it has been facing since 2010. Russia and China’s veto at the UN Security Council has already limited the armed intervention in Syria. But Brazil, India and South Africa are three democracies who could choose to support the Western democracies against the Syrian government. Well aware of that, Shaaban did not mention the political system of her country as such, but highlighted her commitment to Syrian people. “I do not believe at all that the issue is either the President or the Syrian system. The issue is Syria and its people,” she said before pointing out the limits of the Western democratic commitment. Shaaban added, “Western forces speak about human rights, freedom and democracy, but I would just invite you to think about what happened in Iraq.” Concerning her own country, she insisted on the lethal role the democratic powers are playing with the help of their not-so-democratic/secular allies as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Bouthaina Shaaban’s visit aims at countering the Western and Gulf countries’ influence and she seemed rather content. She praised the government’s understanding and will to end violence. She underlined the importance of BRICS on the international scene as they have a more balanced point of view and they ‘are introducing reason.’ However, according to her, India and the BRICS in general are not heard enough in the international community. She said that BRICS should be fully aware of their powers and be able to take a clear position in favour of Syrian government.


  1. Syed Zaki Zaidi It is true that Syria is not a democracy and people should be ruled from whom they want.But I don’t understand the bias of west in exporting democracy in the Arab World, on one hand they are very much concerned for Syria and Iran(anti American axis) but deliberately ignore the legitimate aspiration of democracy in Saudi and Bahrain & more broadly GCC. Saudi is well known for funding the extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Taliban & the same thing is done in Syria by funding Al-Nusra front an affiliate of Al-Qaeda.And France and Britain are discussing of lifting arms embargo… and arming syrian rebels. Bashar-al -assad knows very well that none of the side is going to win so political solution is the only solution that can be brokered by the neutral BRICS countries.I appreciate the balanced approach adopted by the writer because Syrian conflict has spilled in the form of media war … either take balanced view or do propaganda like Alarabia or CNN

  2. The west and the Arab autocrats just want the regime change , more friendly govt to the west , have nothing to do with democracy. They only vocally support the geneva accord in syria and sise by side arming the syrian rebels with lethal weapons .

    • All the weapons which are provided by west to rebels will backfire them. Just take the example of Afganistan !! The are fighting the same jihadi terrorists whom the propped up to fight against Soviet Union.

  3. India’s no interference policy has been very apparent on one hand it wants permanent seat in security council and on the other hand it does not actively intervenes in international issues. But it is the ripe moment when India can more legitimize its claim for permanent seat in UNSC by actively intervening and peacefully resolve the Syrian crisis.

  4. I think the proxy war between iran vs saudi, west vs russia and more apparently secular vs hardliner islamists will only increase the agony of Syrian people. The priority should be to save lives first rather than fighting the political battle!!

  5. Isn’t it funny … EU got noble peace prize and what kind of peace it is promoting in Syria by arming Islamist Al-Qaeda linked rebels… Obama is also a noble peace laureate !! They have a different definition of peace ………

  6. India as a big nation should take participation in resolving many international issues and its a responsiblity to address the international issues

    for example a tiny tot country like qatar promote violence and spreading unrest by supporting rebels in syria, india should warn such small fry and take appropriate action diplomatically as this small bacteria is disturbing world peace.

    india should approach and expand its influences and power to such areas

    american are not god father of international societies, why they anchor huge naval warships now docking at qatar and kuwait

    india should stand and object to restrict united states from colonizing small puppets countries. India has right to protest and halt the illegal expansion of united states domains.

    about kashmir, its our internal problem one day or other the kashmiris realize the reality how kashmiri leave the rest of muslims who spread all over India

    and why they demand for liberation instead they can get autonomy within the jurisdiction of india and let them live with freedom but not as a soverign or independant state this will be blunder and we muslims living in other parts of india will never never support such demands of kashmiris

    no other muslim country in the world like india where millions of muslims are living in peace and communal harmony but those who cry for minority should understand that muslims lacks confidence and patriotism why because they still beleive that muslims will rule india again its nonsense in past it was mistakes by moghuls who underestimated the will and wish of majority indians really they are stupids and arrogant

    now the muslims should join the mainstream of indian society and live peacefully withount any reservation and really will enjoy much better than before.

    lets work for india and die for india the time has come to all indians to face new challenges and forget about past and march towards for new and prosperious india


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