Little Hope for Syria Peace Talks as Rebels Can’t Even Agree to Attend

Syrian FM: Assad May Run for Reelection in 2014

Next month’s Geneva Conference is seen as a “make or break” by some nations for ending the ongoing Syrian Civil War, but there appears to be little momentum going for it, and a lot of indications that the whole thing may never really get off the ground.

The Syrian rebels are a big part of the giant question mark hanging over the event, with the group’s long-split leadership now in complete tatters, and even the one group that had already announced its participation now saying they “haven’t decided,” while reiterating long-standing demands for most of the Syrian government to unconditionally resign before the talks even take place.

That’s obviously a non-starter with the Assad government, bulet even their past indications that they might be willing to negotiate a “post-Assad” scenario are now unclear, with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem insisting Assad would serve out his present term in office and might even run for another in 2014.

The shift may be a result of the Syrian military’s recent recovery of territory from the rebels, emboldening the government and perhaps convincing them that a victory is possible. Of course, both rebels and government have maintained that victory was not only possible, but virtually assured for their side, and have seen stalemates drag the way on for long after either side assumed it would last.

 

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.