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
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ukraine rejects Russia’s call for cease-fire, warns of ‘great war’ against Russian aggressor
- Dozens in Boko Haram reportedly killed as Nigeria repels attack
- British terror suspects may be stripped of passports
- Detained Americans plead U.S. for assistance
- Pakistani premier may be forced out as protests turn violent
- Afghan power-sharing deal breaks down
- Ex-Libyan PM tasked with forming new government
- Israel, Hamas accept Gaza war cease-fire
- Mexico operations thwart child, family migrants
- Russian columns enter Ukraine; leader urges calm
- Kenyan rangers killing poachers, rights group say