The Geneva II peace talks have resumed with closed-door meetings today after a 10-day recess, and with the concurrent watchmakers’ convention finally over, the delegates were no longer forced to hold their meetings in Montreaux, but were able to get hotels in Geneva itself.
UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi oversaw another day of talks between Syrian government negotiators, led by Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, and a group of opposition figures from the Syrian National Coalition (SNC).
The SNC was quick to issue a warning about the resumption of talks, saying it would be a “waste of time” to think there might be a third round if there was no major progress made this time around.
The fact that the two sides even got to the point of meeting in the same room was itself some progress though, as the first round of talks mostly saw Brahimi ferrying messages back and forth to the groups in separate rooms, and it was only at the very end that the two sides met face-to-face.
The Assad government wants a Geneva II deal to center on the growing al-Qaeda domination of the nation’s north, while the SNC wants a deal where they are enshrined as the new government.