News / Middle East

    Failure of Syria Talks Signal Conflict May Be Long Struggle

    The Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (C) stands with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (R) and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns as they meet at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 11, 2013.
    The Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (C) stands with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (R) and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns as they meet at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 11, 2013.
    Al Pessin
    As senior U.S. and Russian negotiators - along with the United Nations peace envoy - again failed to find a breakthrough in Syria talks on Friday, analysts say a solution could be a long time coming.
     
    ​Through the 21-plus months of Syria's civil war, there has been no shortage of diplomacy, but a significant shortage of progress.
     
    Attacks from both sides continue to destroy Syria's cities and towns, kill tens of thousands of people, and leave hundreds of thousands as refugees in mud-soaked camps in neighboring countries.

    "There's little sign that we're any closer to any political solution to this crisis," said Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding. "Because there are divisions in the international community between the United States and Russia, between key regional powers like Saudi Arabia and Iran, there is not a core constituency who are pushing for one single solution to the crisis in Syria."

    Failure of Latest Talks Signal Syrian Conflct May Be Long Strugglei
    X
    Al Pessin
    January 11, 2013 8:36 PM
    As senior U.S. and Russian negotiators - along with the United Nations peace envoy - again failed to find a breakthrough in Syria talks on Friday, analysts say a solution could be a long time coming.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains defiant, as he did during a recent speech in front of enthusiastic supporters in Damascus.

    Assad's eroding support
     
    But Doyle and other experts say there is some erosion in Mr. Assad's international support. His friends in Moscow are signaling a willingness to see him fall, indicating they would accept an orderly transition as long as Russia's relationship with a new Syrian government is assured.
     
    Analyst Anthony Skinner of the Maplecroft consulting firm said that is why Russia is more willing to deal with the Syrian opposition.
     
    "Russia is hedging its bets,” he said. “It hasn't fundamentally changed its position, but it's trying to establish a greater channel of communication and develop relations with the opposition."
     
    The Iranian factor
     
    But Skinner said the situation is quite different for Syria's other main foreign supporter, Iran.
     
    "The relationship between Tehran and Damascus is so fundamental to the regime in Iran, in terms of its own agenda domestically and also in the region at large, that it would not make sense for it to engage in a massive reversal," he said.
     
    The experts do not see any dramatic change in the Syria deadlock any time soon.  But Chris Doyle puts some of the onus on the opposition and the West.
     
    "We need a transition process,” Doyle said. “If it means that the president has to be there, even as a symbolic figure, for some months before he is ushered out, maybe that is something the parties need to consider in order to find a way out."
     
    Doyle said without some sort of dramatic change on one or both sides, the fighting could drag on indefinitely, and there may be little left of Syria for whoever wins.​

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Michael from: USA
    January 13, 2013 8:09 AM
    Tehran cannot make a 'massive reversal' on Syria because if it did occur, it would not work as the resulting goal could never fit the situation on the ground which changes hourly. We can't assume that there is a legum majoris guiding the practical tasks. But if these tasks are peace talks then there can be a clearing of the slates on daily events. This is why we keep hearing leaders pushing talks, talks, talks!

    by: Anonymous
    January 12, 2013 5:13 PM
    I agree with the viewpoints in the post by Jeremiah Williams from: twitter.com/MinJermiah.

    by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
    January 12, 2013 1:43 AM
    To the other poster- Pres. Obama did not start this conflict, as a matter of fact for over 12 months, the USA was distancing itself, a very wise descision. The US involvement started with the request to NATO, by Turkey's gvmt for help. This request came after a bombardment, by Syrian forces, of a small Turkish village that resulted , if I recall corectly, in 5 casualties (2 dead/3 wounded). Following which Turkey took many other bombardments, without any casualties; then a Turkish reconasaince plane was shot down, by Syrian forces, over the Med in Turkish waters. Syria acknowledged and apologized for the incidents. Following which Erdogan asked for Patriot anti air missiles from NATO. I recall Pres Obamas was very reluctant to this, the Dutch and Germans were the first to agree. That started the US involvement, Turkey is a NATO member and NATO has an obligation to defend Turkey. The start of the conflict was a peaceful public demonstration, asking for reforms in Homs; Syrian gvmt replied with gunfire.. So no person should blame the US for this horrible situation. Israel is not involved in the conflict, has not had a military conflict with Syria for years. The main issue is to save the civilians, and humanitarian corridors need to be pushed in, and it should be done by Turkey and by the Gulf states, not the US or NATO. Turkey has one of the biggest armed forces in the World. The Gulf states have some of the best military equipment/training in the World; oil money can buy you the best...let us hope they have the necessary courage to help the civilians in Syria. I am sad to see that some Americans are getting some kind of self incrimination issue.

    by: Jeremiah Williams from: twitter.com/MinJermiah
    January 11, 2013 3:49 PM
    I'm %100 in support of Israel. I love my country the United States. However this propaganda is ridiculous. The church should be smarter than this. What is happening in Syria is just wrong and we are not being told the truth by our media outlets both Christian and secular.

    This is proxy war funded and led by the United States. America is supporting terrorists groups including Al Qaeda. Syria was no threat to the United States or her allies. Syria has not been purposely killing innocent civilians are our news outlets are reporting. These deaths are twofold. One is the results of terrorist murders and the other are terrorists being killed. To say that the Syrian government shouldn't be killing these groups is to say our government shouldn't kill anyone if it attacks her. If a United States group took up arms against her, she would surely bring the hammer of death. She would defend herself at all cost. The Syrian government is suppost to protect herself and citizens.

    The United States has no business supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups!!! We shouldn't have attacked Libya, which was the most stable and prosperous country outside South Africa. We should have not supporting and funded the overthrowing of Egypt, one of our main allies in the war on terror. In both Libya and Egypt you could be a Christian freely, not anymore. First thing happened in Libya after the murder of Kadafi, was the terrorist groups started killing Christians and blacks. The Christians are trying the flee Egypt by tthe droves.

    They media is lying saying this groups are fighting for democratic government. Hog wash. Stop lying to the American people!!! The want and are instituting Sharia Law. No more rights for woman or Christians. The majority of the world no this. Most international news outlets questioning how americans are now supporting terrorists and why.

    Our government is destabalizing the middle east bacause of gold and oil. As a man of God I have to call wrong wrong. It isn't about freedom. Stop lying!!! There are real countries where people are being oppressed and these countries where not any of those countries.

    Stop the prooganda machine.

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