Saturday, February 1, 2014

Syria Peace Talks to Resume 10 February

The first round of the Geneva II conference on Syria ended on Friday with little progress, but the two sides agreed to resume talks on 10 February.

The Assad regime expected to turn the peace talks into an international forum to paint all the opposition, including the delegation participating in the conference, as terrorists and avoid discussions of the implementation of Geneva I communiqué to set up a transitional government to end the conflict.

The opposition wanted to discuss the requirements of Geneva communiqué and talk about transitional government and counter the regime’s claim that there were no real opposition in Syria and the military was fighting only the terrorists.

It seems that the regime delegation did not achieve its goals and at the end agreed to resume talks in ten days to discuss prisoners release, humanitarian access and most importantly the formation of the transitional government. The opposition also had to sit down around the table with the regime and discuss the ways to end the conflict.

The second round of talks starting on 10 February becomes all that important. The two sides should not only realize by now but also publicly declare that the solution to the civil war does not come out of the barrel of the gun, but through a political solution that would safeguard the interests of all Syrians, regardless of sectarian and tribal and regional differences. A government of national unity, acceptable to all factions, is what is needed in Syria.

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