The Geneva II peace talks appear to be on the brink of collapse today, after UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s attempt to bring US and Russian proposals in to break a deadlock simply had the two sides reiterating the positions of their respective Syrian proxies.
The Russian position was pretty much verbatim of the Assad government’s position, complaining that all the focus is on regime change and urging the opposition to take the threat of al-Qaeda more seriously, since they’ve taken a significant chunk of the nation’s north.
The Obama Administration, meanwhile, offered nothing new beyond its repeated calls for regime change, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying President Obama is “looking for options” but that those options “may or may not exist.”
Before the talks began in January, there was an obvious problem looming, as what opposition were willing to attend (and there were very few) were hoping to cash in on their involvement by getting Western endorsement as the new government, and with materially all of the rebel combatants unrepresented there’s been little reason to believe the talks might stop the violence, or that the Assad government would be pressed to make concessions to the faction that did attend.
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