Delicate Syria talks to proceed this week

Warring sides in Syria’s civil war received invitations to negotiate this week in Geneva, after fits and starts to the process, the UN announced on Tuesday.


Talks to end the five-year-old war are consistent with a diplomatic framework agreed upon in Vienna by world powers in October, calling for a negotiated cease-fire, a political transition and national elections. That framework was brokered by state benefactors of embattled President Bashar Assad and those fighting for his ouster – not, directly, by the parties to the fight themselves.


Indeed, the talks scheduled to begin on Friday will still not involve direct engagement – and the UN’s special envoy to the conflict, Staffan de Mistura, did not specify who was invited to represent Syria’s rebel groups.


“We will be holding those proximity talks until we can hold direct talks,” de Mistura said, adding that the “creative,” adaptive diplomatic approach might last for several months, to keep the process alive.


Read More: Delicate Syria talks to proceed this week – Middle East – Jerusalem Post