Geneva Talks a ‘Good Beginning’ as Syrian Govt, Opposition Meet

Sides to Discuss Prisoner Swap, Aid Access on Sunday

The direct talks between Syria’s government and the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) continue to move forward today, and for the first time they sat in the same room with one another.

Friday marked the beginning of direct talks, though at the time the SNC would only meet in the same room in the government agreed to regime change, and the talks almost ended outright there.

Today, UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says the two sides were in the same room, but at different tables, and he was at a third table in the middle ferrying messages back and forth, adding “we have not achieved much, but we are continuing.”

Reports are that the three hours of talks centered around the possibility of aid corridors for Homs, and a deal on that could be reached Sunday. The two sides are also expected to discuss prisoner exchanges on Sunday.

Monday is where things get tough, as that’s the day the SNC is planning for discussion of a “transitional government,” which is to say they are hoping to convince everyone at the conference that they should establish a new, SNC-dominated regime.

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.