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.

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid