||Home > Culture and Society > 2013-11-27 14:55:27
Date fixed for Syrian peace conference. But doubts remain
New York City, 27 Nov 2013: The UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon has announced that, the long-awaited peace conference on Syria will be held in Geneva on January 22. The UN , the U.S. , Russia , the Arab League have tried for months to bring together stakeholders and put an end to the conflict that has been destroying the country for two and a half years. But even now there are fears that some of the parties will abandon the negotiations or hinder them on the ground.
Ban Ki -moon said that the next conference (called " Geneva II") should be based on the statement drawn up by the UN Group of action in 2012.
This statement calls for an immediate end to the violence and formation "on the basis of mutual consent" of a transitional government with full powers over the army and security forces, which will include members of the opposition and members related to Assad .
Ban stressed that the parties must come to Geneva "with the serious intention to end a war that has already claimed more than 100 thousand deaths, nearly 9 million people uprooted from their homes, leaving untold numbers missing and prisoners ."
The Conference scheduled has already been scheduled several times but so far has never been held because of numerous vetoes and divisions .
Assad had never agreed to sit in front of the opponents , all branded as "terrorists " , the opposition wanted to be sure that Assad had no future in Syria. At the same time , the various opposition groups are divided over who has the right to represent the conference and several of them - especially radical Islamists - plan to continue their holy war in any case.
In the recent past, the U.S. ( and Saudi Arabia ) had vetoed the participation of Iran, Assad's sponsors . Instead Tehran's participation is backed by Russia .
It is still unclear if all these problems are solved. Ban Ki-moon has, however, stated that he expects "all regional and international partners to demonstrate their significant support for constructive negotiations "
Lakhdar Brahimi , the UN and the Arab League envoy for peace in Syria , said the Geneva II list of participants has not yet been established, but he thinks it will include Iran , and Saudi Arabia - which finances the rebels.
Brahimi will meet December 20 with representatives of the U.S. and Russia to attempt to draw up the list of participants.