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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.