The road to Syria peace talks

A proposed conference in Geneva is gaining traction with the US and Russia throwing diplomatic muscle behind the plan observes JAMES BAYE

United Nations - New chances that international peace talks will take place in Geneva in the next month hang in the balance of ongoing diplomatic maneuvering.Syria has expressed its intention, in principle, to attend. But Russia is warning that the decision of a divided EU to allow its arms embargo to lapse threatens the prospects for the conference. The Syrian opposition, which has never been united, still has not decided if it will attend.It is, however, worth looking at what is planned in Geneva. When analysts consider the importance of the meeting if it were to take place, the reasons for all the current wrangling become much clearer. Some of the key issues include:

US/Russia agreement on the plan
The idea for Geneva 2 came from the US and Russia. They certainly do not agree on most things concerning Syria. But for the first time in months, the deadlock has been broken. The two countries agreed at the beginning of May on a plan for the way forward.Geneva 2 would not be just another international meeting on Syria. What is proposed is face-to-face talks between one delegation representing the opposition, and another made up of regime figures.

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