A Peace Plan for Southwest Asia
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2016—It may be a happy coincidence or divine providence, that the Arabic translation of our World Land-Bridge book comes out just as the prospect of a ceasefire in Syria is becoming a reality. The accord between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has the potential of bringing a war of five years, which cost hundreds of thousands of human lives, to an end. But given the enormous intricacies of the region, it should also be clear that a mere contract to stop fighting will be too fragile to last and survive new provocations, by the same forces which were responsible for the war.
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The only way that a durable peace can be guaranteed, is to immediately launch a comprehensive development plan for all of Southwest Asia, with an integrated infrastructure development plan, which not only reconstructs the cities and villages destroyed by the war, but which takes a much more fundamental approach to return this region, which was one of the cradles of human civilization and at various points in history harbored the most developed cultures of the time, to one of the most advanced regions of the world again. The aim must be to unleash the creativity of the people of the region and bring their productivity up to the level of Europe, the United States, or China.
This is absolutely possible, most emphatically because Russia, China, and India are the powerful neighbors which, in collaboration and together with the countries of the region, can bring this development about. If the development projects proposed in this report are implemented, starting literally tomorrow, so that the peace dividend becomes visible for all sides in the region, then the ceasefire in Syria and the implementation of what one could call a Silk Road-Marshall Plan, without a cold war connotation however, can become a game-changer for the whole world.
At a moment when the refugee crisis is threatening to become an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, detonating the cohesion and possibly even the existence of the European Union, a vision of hope to develop Southwest Asia and Africa is the only way to turn the situation around. At a moent when the financial system of the trans-Atlantic world is about to crash, the development perspective to rebuild the Near and Middle East to become the bridge between Asia, Europe, and Africa, is the only engine of economic growth to prevent Europe and the United States from going down in chaos.
So on the realization of this program, the fate of all of humanity depends.