Top officials from the US and Russia have insisted that no date has been finalized, and UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s comments today suggest why that would be.
Brahimi insisted that the talks would be impossible to hold “without a credible opposition” presence. The Syrian rebellion is splinted among half a dozen different umbrella groups and scores of other unaffiliated factions, and not a single one has agreed to attend the peace talks.
That’s been the story all along, as Geneva 2 was initially supposed to happen in June, and never did because the rebels refused to participate. The rebel factions are all the more splintered now, and while officials are hoping to kickstart the talks, the late November date seems very tentative, and without a big change from the rebels it’s hard to see how it will actually happen.