Geneva Talks in Doubt as Syria Opposition on the Brink of Collapse

Pressure of Being Asked to Attend Talks Blamed for SNC's Fall

With just two weeks remaining before the oft-delayed Geneva II peace conference is supposed to begin in Montreaux, the whole situation is in serious doubt, with the only rebel faction down as likely to attend on the brink of collapse.

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has been hemming and hawing about whether or not they’d actually show up for months now, and those familiar with the situation say that the very act of asking them to do something as big as show up with a delegation in Geneva put so much pressure on the group that it has torn them apart.

The SNC has little to no influence inside Syria to begin with, and attending the talks risks not only alienating the real rebel factions, but disappointing Western backers who’ve been pushing them as a “government-in-exile.”

That has left many of the group’s members voting against attending the talks at all, though this too risks harming their relations with the West, and making the group’s complete ineffectiveness all the more apparent.

With the date all set and the hotels booked, Geneva II will go on with or without the SNC, but at this point, it’s shaping up to amount to a bunch of Western nations browbeating an Assad government delegation, with no real chance of a serious deal being reached.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.