News / Middle East

Analysts: Geneva II Will Not Result in Solution for Syria

Tepid Outlook on Syria Talks in Montreauxi
X
January 23, 2014 7:16 PM
Second international conference on Syria not likely to result in a solution for the embattled country, as representatives for the government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition clash during opening meeting in Montreux, Switzerland. Zlatica Hoke has more.

VIDEO: Second international conference on Syria not likely to result in a solution for the embattled country, as representatives for the government of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition clash during opening meetings in Montreux, Switzerland.

Zlatica Hoke
The second international conference on Syria is not likely to result in a solution for the embattled country, as representatives for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition clashed during an opening meeting in Montreux, Switzerland. 

Analysts say the most that can be expected from the conference known as Geneva 2 is a framework for negotiations between the sides. 

Syrians who have fled their homes to escape mayhem in their country have a very clear message for negotiators in Switzerland. 

"What we want from the Syrian regime and the opposition forces is to leave their arrogance behind and come to an agreement to bring an end of the war. We want a final decision. Whether it's [U.N. and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria] Lakhdar Brahimi who intermediates or someone else, we don't really care," said Fatma Hassan, a Syrian refugee in Turkey.

A new round of peace talks on Syria got off to a shaky start Wednesday in the Swiss town of Montreux as the government and the opposition both claimed to represent the Syrian people, while fighting continued across the country. 

Former U.S. ambassador to Syria Theodore Kattouff said one problem is that the world powers disagree on what is the best solution for Syria.  Russia and China support the Assad government, while many others want him to go.  But no great power or the United Nations is willing to deploy forces on the ground in Syria.

"That means that negotiations are going to be largely determined by the balance of forces within Syria - between the various opposition factions and the regime.  And right now what we seem to have is something approaching a stalemate.  Neither side is able to defeat the other," explained Kattouf. "Neither side is able to force its will upon the other, and given this situation, this could go on and the suffering the refugee situation and the torture and the killing for a tremendous amount of time."

But it would be wrong to dismiss the importance of peace talks, said retired U.S. Army Colonel Jeff McCausland.  He noted that despite their disagreements, the United States and Russia forged an agreement on the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, and the current meeting eventually could lead to negotiations between the rival sides in Syria.  But he said he does not see more than a broad agreement on Syria coming out of the current round of talks.

"At best, it would seem to me [that] Geneva 2 -- and the United States and the Russian Federation might well agree upon this --  could result in some confidence building measures between the two sides, some agreement on opening routes to revive greater humanitarian assistance to those civilians that are trapped in the  conflict," he said.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the sides to negotiate for the sake of the Syrian people.

"The Syrian people are looking desperately for relief from the nightmare in which they are trapped," he said.

International leaders also are concerned about reports that foreign terrorist groups are infiltrating Syria, and both sides are being blamed for making it possible.  In addition, there are growing fears that the conflict might spread in the region.  Despite growing urgency to end the almost three-year war in Syria, politicians and diplomats can offer little hope for a quick solution there.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid