Europeans Frustrated as US, Russia Stalemate Stalls Syria Efforts

EU Diplomats Said to Seek Multilateral Talks

by Jason Ditz, May 16, 2016

New reports out of Vienna suggest growing European annoyance at the efforts by the US and Russia to end the Syrian Civil War, which they describe as a total stalemate and one which just sees the US constantly underestimating Russia’s desire to not endorse formal regime change.

Diplomats say that going into the US talks with Russia, Secretary of State John Kerry assured them that Russia would “relatively quickly” cave to US demands. The Europeans say they have ideas on compromise, but that neither they nor the Syrians themselves are involved at the moment.

Rather, the US and Russia appear to have take the reins of this conflict’s backdoor negotiations, and unable to make any agreement with one another, just keep spinning their wheels, as European diplomats urge for a return to multilateral talks.

Having that happen seems unlikely, at least in the near-term, as the US has long been keen to cut the Europeans out of the process, and having done so probably isn’t going to admit to failure in their bilateral efforts, let alone concede to Europe’s return to the process. As with the Syrians themselves, US and Russian officials seem keen to relegate Europe to spectatorship.

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