Geneva III on Syria: Dead on Arrival
by Stephen Lendman
Earlier Geneva I and II peace talks accomplished nothing. Washington and its rogue allies blocked Russia’s best efforts for resolving things diplomatically.
Last January, Sergey Lavrov said “Russia's position on the Syrian crisis has always been consistent.”
"We have always advocated for a settlement by Syrians themselves based on the principles of the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, the basic principle of which is about achieving mutual consent of the Syrian sides through an inclusive national dialogue without any preconditions.”
“This is exactly what we strive to promote” when engaging in diplomatic dialogue. The whole point of (Geneva) is that the settlement process cannot and should not be a zero-sum game.”
"All Syrians must benefit from it. We are deeply convinced that external intervention, be it in the form of military actions or attempts to impose political dictate through unilateral sanctions, undermines the spirit and the letter of” Geneva negotiations for peace.
Geneva III is scheduled to begin on January 25 once participating delegations are agreed on and formed. Is there more reason for hope now than earlier?
Don’t bet on it - not as long as Washington and its rogue partners want war, not peace, pro-Western governance replacing Syrian sovereignty, its resources looted, its territory balkanized into mini-states for easier control, leaving Iran isolated.
Imperial objectives remain firm, strategies and tactics alone change. Obama didn’t wage war on Syria to quit.
Expect his successor to inherit the conflict he began, resolving it likely no closer then than now - not as long as ISIS and other terrorist groups keep getting significant outside support.
Their power depends on it. Without it, they can be defeated in a year or less. Many of their Syrian fighters deserted - no match for Russian air power working cooperatively with Syrian ground troops.
They remain a formidable force because of continued outside support. They’re excluded from January peace talks along with other terrorist groups.
Defining them remains an issue. Washington maintains the myth of so-called moderates. None exist or too few to matter.
Russia identified scores of terrorist groups, major and splinter ones, supported by about 40 countries, including G20 ones, Putin explained.
Syrian opposition representatives want Saudi Arabia excluded from upcoming talks. A letter sent to the US special envoy for Syria, Michael Ratney, UN special envoy, Staffan de Mistura, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry minced no words, saying:
“Saudi Arabia’s attitude since the start of the conflict and the fact that Saudi authorities have raised tensions between communities and encouraged the emergence of groups of extremist fighters should disqualify them from taking part in negotiations that will lead to peace in Syria.”
Riyadh is part of the problem, not the solution. So are other Gulf states, Israel, Jordan, Washington and its key NATO partners - why peace remains elusive. Endless war continues.
In their letter, Syrian opposition representatives “stress(ed) the important and necessity of including all (groups) standing against terrorism in any negotiations over the future of Syria on equal footing, without arbitrary exclusions, and without conferring special status on any political group.”
Washington, Riyadh and other anti-Syrian nations are disruptive forces, seeking their own objectives exclusively, indifferent to what Syrians want and deserve.
The so-called Syrian opposition Astana Initiative’s Executive Committee includes 70 representatives. Their letter accused Riyadh of violating agreed on Vienna principles and subsequent Security Council resolution ones - a basis for pursuing peace talks, regardless of little chance for success.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced “the attempt by the group which met in Riyadh to assign itself the right to speak on behalf of the entire Syrian opposition.”
It was a carefully staged assemblage of anti-Assad terrorist groups excluded from peace talks. “(T)errorists of all stripes should be excluded from the political process in Syria,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry stressed.
Talks should have no “preconditions…(O)nly the Syrian people can decide the fate of” their nation, free from foreign interference. “(A)greements (if reached) must be respected.”
Hope for peace remains as elusive as earlier. US obstructionism is key. As long as Washington sticks to its regime change policy, expect endless war to continue.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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