Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pause in Farcical Syrian Peace Talks

Pause in Farcical Syrian Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

AP News described two weeks of proximity (not face-to-face) talks as no drama, no walkouts and no progress - stopping short of calling Geneva III a futile diplomatic conflict resolution effort going nowhere. 

Both sides are intractably apart on the key issue - whether Syrians alone will decide who’ll lead them (as international law requires) or foreign powers.

Talks were adjourned on Thursday, April 9 or 10 a target date for resuming them. Pro-Western go-between Mistura calls political transition (aka regime change, undermining Syrian sovereignty) “the mother of all issues.”

Syrian UN envoy/chief negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari said Syrian sovereign independence is sacrosanct, off the table for discussion. International law forbids foreign interference in the internal affairs of nations, a red line not to be crossed.

Jaafari stressed combating and eliminating terrorism is the top priority for discussions.

US/Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee delegates gave Mistura a “document of principles,” calling for transitional governance with full executive powers ahead of full transfer of power (regime change) - unacceptable and out-of-line, a proposal going nowhere.

Al-Jaafari gave de Mistura a vision for combating terrorism - both sides irreconcilably apart.

De Mistura prepared what he called 12 “Essential Principles of a Political Solution in Syria,” saying:

“The paper I have prepared represents my conception as a mediator for the Syrian-Syrian (sic) dialogue. It includes guiding principles that help in the next stage, but don’t enter in the details.”

The devil is in them. Polar opposite agendas by both sides prevent conflict resolution no matter how long talks continue or how many principles de Mistura presents, whatever they say or omit.

Opposition elements are US/Saudi-backed terrorists, not Syrians concerned about preserving and protecting the nation’s sovereignty, free from outside interference.

Conflict continues, diplomatic resolution nowhere in sight. Defeating terrorism alone can restore peace. Nothing else can work.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.