Syrian Opposition Rejects Negotiations as UN Fight Turns Ugly

Russia Aims to Broker Talks as NATO Pushes for 'Condemnation' Resolution

The Arab League-backed effort to convince the UN to formally condemn Syria and endorse a plan which would demand Bashar Assad leave office is continuing to be pushed by NATO and others in the UN Security Council, with at least 10 votes said to be secured. This is theoretically enough to pass, but Russia is expected to veto the resolution, unless the wording is clarified to avoid any calls for military action.

At the same time, Russia is pushing an effort of their own to settle the incipient civil war in Syria, calling for talks in Moscow between Syrian officials and some of the opposition leaders. Syria’s government has reportedly already agreed to this plan.

At least one of the opposition factions, however, is rejecting the call for talks. A top member of the Syrian National Council (SNC) insisted that his group rejects the notion of talks on general principle. So far there is no word if any other factions, like the Free Syrian Army (FSA), might take part.

Russia has expressed concern that any vague wordings in a UN resolution could be used by NATO for another Libya-style regime change. With some Arab League members, notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar, openly advocating a military invasion of Syria, it seems hard to deny the possibility.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.