German FM: Vienna Talks Yield No Agreement on Syria Transition

Iran Proposal for Free Elections Spurned

The latest round of Syrian civil war talks came to end in the city of Vienna today, and will resume in another two weeks. According to German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, one of the participants, there were no agreements made on post-war Syria.

There was still no breakthrough, but that also wasn’t expected today,” noted Steinmeier. The German official was one of several last-minute adds to this round of talks, after last week’s talks amounted to just the US, Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia arguing about how to carve up Syria after the war.

The biggest of the new participants, of course, was Iran, who had previously been very publicly not-invited to such efforts. Iran offered a plan for a transitional period leading to free elections open to all, which was quickly panned as “madness” by rebel factions.

The objections are two-fold, according to Syrian National Coalition figure George Sabra, as the elections were meant to allow President Bashar al-Assad to run as a candidate, something they insisted is unacceptable, and would involve elections at all, something they insist is impossible. The SNC has presented itself as a “government-in-exile” for years, and seeks to be unconditionally installed as the new Syrian government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.