Peace envoy calls for fresh talks on Syria
The United Nations-backed peace envoy called Sunday for talks in a new bid to end Syria's bloodshed, but deep distrust between both sides in the conflict casts doubt on the likelihood of meaningful dialogue.
Negotiations between the Syrian opposition and an “acceptable delegation” from the government of President Bashar Assad “will be a beginning to exit the dark tunnel which Syria has entered,” said Lakhdar Brahimi, special peace envoy for the U.N. and the Arab League.
Speaking in Cairo, Brahimi said talks could commence at an unspecified U.N. site.
But there is no date set for negotiations and no clear idea of who would be deemed “acceptable” participants.
Moreover, the central issue — the fate of Assad's government — remains in dispute, and neither side seems inclined to budge.
The opposition insists any talks must result in the removal of Assad and his security leadership.
The government rejects any such “precondition,” but has itself seemed to rule out talks with armed opponents it dubs “terrorists,” and with exile leaders labeled “puppets” of the West.
To date, each side seems to view negotiations as an alternate route to victory, rather than as a compromise-laden path to peace and reconstruction in a nation devastated by almost two years of conflict.
“Both the opposition and the regime remain determined to defeat the enemy,” noted Peter Harling, Middle East project director with the International Crisis Group, a think tank that works on conflict resolution.
Still, the urgent push for peace talks — a goal now nominally supported by both warring parties and their respective external allies — highlights how the Syria debate has shifted.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Vatican puts 5 on trial for leaks
- Philippines reappraises hoard of Marcos jewelry
- Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
- Pakistani doctor who led CIA to bin Laden stuck in prison
- Settlement spat surfaces as Kerry visits Jerusalem
- Social media drives Cuban exodus to United States
- Surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence ahead of Kerry visit
- Germany bomb threat amplifies fears in Europe
- Mali attackers struck luxury Radisson Blu hotel during security switch
- Washington Post reporter Rezaian sentenced to prison for espionage in Iran
- Opposition candidate Macri leads Argentina’s presidential election