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.​

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid