Not June: Diplomats Can’t Agree on Date, Participants for Syria Talks

Rebels Still Not on Board for Talks

by Jason Ditz, June 05, 2013

The high profile Geneva Conference, a US and Russian-backed peace initiative for Syria, was supposed to be the big game-changer for the month of June. A date still hasn’t been agreed on, officials say, but it definitely won’t be in June.

UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said June was absolutely impossible at this point, because diplomats were unable to come to an agreement on when the talks would take place, or who would be allowed to take part.

The US is pushing for Saudi Arabia’s inclusion, while Russia says Iran should also take part. The US has ruled out allowing Iran to take part under any circumstances.

The biggest obstacle though, is the Syrian rebels, who have repeatedly ruled out taking part in the talks at all, and while the US is trying to spin this as the rebels just “needing more time,” many of them are rejecting talks on general principle, insisting no talks should take place under Syria’s government unilaterally resigns.

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