Syrian Opposition May Attend Geneva, Issues Preconditions

Demands Include Vague Call for 'Transition'

A major rhetorical shift came today from the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), as the opposition faction agreed in principle to participate in the Geneva II peace conference, the first rebel-affiliated bloc to do so.

The SNC’s willingness came with a series of preconditions that would have to be met before they’d attend, and the vagueness of some of the points suggest that they are still on the fence about the matter.

While presenting their primary precondition as an end to fighting for the sake of getting humanitarian aid to civilians, the call for a full “withdrawal” of the military from major cities seems dicey, and the vague calls for an agreement to a “transition” also raise significant doubts.

It’s not even clear why the Geneva II talks would be needed if all these things could be agreed on unilaterally beforehand, and with many factions remaining staunchly opposed to making a deal, all the demands seem to be designed to give the SNC an out if the talks get scheduled and they decide it is no longer politically advantageous to attend.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.