Weekend negotiations in Geneva have resulted in a new “peace plan” for Syria, but expectations are being strongly tempered after Kofi Annan’s last plan fell apart.
“It is hard to see anything concrete coming out of this,” noted the chairman of one Turkey-based thinktank, adding that neither side seems interested in negotiation but are rather determined to keep fighting.
Syria’s rebels have already condemned the new plan as a “waste of time” and say that they would never agree to any deal which involved negotiations with the existing regime. The Assad government didn’t reject the plan out of hand, but also expressed annoyance that the deal was entirely created by foreign powers without any direct Syrian involvement.
And unlike past deals which had Western officials brimming with confidence, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also seemed to downplay its chances, saying there “is no guarantee that we are going to be successful.” The deal calls for a negotiated transition to a “transitional government,” with Clinton saying it would oust Assad and all allies. Russian officials took a different tack, saying that the deal didn’t “impose” anything and that it was up to Syria to move the process forward.
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