Syrian Govt, Rebels Agree on Agenda for Future Peace Talks

Rebels Sign on to 12 Principles for Peace Process

Significant progress appears to have been made on peace in Syria during the past week’s Geneva peace talks, which ended today with both government and rebel forces agreeing on a UN-brokered agenda for future talks, including talks expected to be begin later this month.

The rebels even agreed to “provisionally” accept the 12 principles the UN laid out for the peace process, laid out as a result of indirect negotiations with the UN mediator Staffan de Mistura. Though it wasn’t publicly confirmed, it is generally assumed that Syria’s government also accepted the principles.

There’s no underestimating what a huge step forward that is, as previous talks have rarely managed to get through to the end to finish in an orderly fashion, and having both sides reach a joint agreement of sorts, even if it is just a vague one on continuing the talks, is pretty much unprecedented.

Interestingly, Mistura and other UN officials were openly dubious of the idea that the talks this time around were going to lead to anything, and at the start they just seemed to be going through the motions. The moderate rebel factions attending the talks being attacked by al-Qaeda forces appears to have convinced them that the talks were worth pursuing in earnest.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • Bianca

    All this means — Astana talks brokered by Turkey and Russia, as well as Iran, have made progres. The previous obstacle was always the Saudi based High Negotiating Committee. But it looks like the actual people on the ground decided to not heed their advice, and want to cut a deal. Since funding is being lost, and two largest groups in Idlid fighting each other — while ISIS is losing ground. Turkey is holding area around border, and ISIS is pushed further east. Also, what is left of Free Syria Army is under Turkish Army control.