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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora