Jan 23,2016 – JORDAN TIMES – EDITORIAL
The much-anticipated peace talks on Syria will presumably be held next week in Geneva, but are now projected to be indirect negotiations between Damascus and the opposition, rather than face-to-face discussions.
Much hope was pinned on these much delayed talks, but the fact that they would be conducted indirectly, as confirmed by US Secretary of State John Kerry recently, casts serious doubts about their usefulness and outcome.
What this means is that the gap between the two conflicting parties is too wide to warrant optimism, and that they will most likely be sterile negotiations bound to lead nowhere.
Why, then, bother to convene such talks?
Why not wait for a more propitious time, when the parties could be more amenable to reaching the much-needed compromise that can bring peace to Syria?
It could be that talks between the US and Russia need to precede any negotiations between the warring parties in Syria, so that they can agree on the broad features of any settlement.
As long as the sponsors of the peace negotiations are still too far apart, it is hard to imagine Damascus and the opposition getting their act together and agreeing to a peace deal to spare their country and people more killings and destruction.
Russia is adamantly against any preconditions for holding the peace talks — like some goodwill overtures by Damascus to facilitate the holding of negotiations — so under such circumstances, it is difficult to see any value in holding the Geneva peace talks.
Facing this reality would be less cruel than giving false hopes, which are not borne out by the reality, to people who have suffered tremendously already.
When all is said and done, it should be the UN Security Council, not the US or Russia, that comes up with a resolution imposing, if need be by force, a solution to the Syrian conflict.
And if a veto by any permanent members should stop this world body from taking appropriate action on Syria, then the issue could be turned over to the UN General Assembly under the “Uniting for Peace” resolution to adopt the right decision.
Enough games have been played in and outside Syria at the expense of a population that has reached the end of its tether.