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Current Event Cat of the Day: Syria’s New Years Resolution: Geneva Peace Talks

Current Event Cat - Geneva Talks

Geneva talks worked out well for the Iran nuclear deal, so now Syria is giving it a try. Starting on January 22, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government will hold the first direct talks with opposition groups at an international peace conference in Geneva.

The Geneva conference will be the first time the two sides of the civil war will convene since the conflict began. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the little get-together on Monday, saying that the aim of the talks will be to agree on an acceptable transitional government with powers over military and security.

“We go with a clear understanding: The Geneva conference is the vehicle for a peaceful transition that fulfills the legitimate aspirations of all the Syrian people for freedom and dignity, and which guarantees safety and protection to all communities in Syria,”  Ban Ki-moon told reporters at UN headquarters.

But the news of the upcoming Geneva peace talks still leave many questions unanswered. Who should legitimately represent the divided Syrian opposition? What should they do with Bashar al-Assad? Should Iran be involved or completely banned from the table?

The rebel groups are skeptical that the talks will do any good because 1) the opposition is not united.

“Opposition political delegations do not have any power or influence on the Syrian street,” said Fahed Al-Masri, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army. “As the Syrian street does not recognize them, it would be impossible for them to be able to commit to anything, much less fulfill any pledges.”

And 2) the rebels don’t believe their demand to get rid of Syrian President Bashar Assad will be met.

In fact, Syrian government officials have maintained that Assad will not resign and may even run for another term in presidential elections scheduled for mid-2014. If he can win an election after starting a two-year civil war that has so far claimed 100,000 lives, including that of more than 11,000 children, then either the ballots are rigged or all that sarin gas is seriously messing with Syrians’ brains.

Via: USA Today

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