Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Terrorism & Security

UN envoy tries to revive Syria peace plan

The plan from UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is unlikely to gain traction without more concessions to the Syrian opposition.

(Page 2 of 2)



Reuters reports that Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich stated plainly that Mr. Assad's departure could not be treated as a precondition for talks this time around, but did not insist that the possibility of his removal be off the table.

Skip to next paragraph

Middle East Editor

Ariel Zirulnick is the Monitor's Middle East editor, overseeing regional coverage both for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine. She is also a contributor to the international desk's terrorism and security blog. 

Recent posts

"The biggest disagreement ... is that one side thinks Assad should leave at the start of the process – that is the US position, and the other thinks his departure should be a result of the process – that would be the Russian position," Dmitry Trenin, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center, told Reuters.

But Trenin said battlefield gains made by the Syrian rebels were narrowing the gap between Moscow and Washington.

Mr. Lukashevich said, contrary to speculation, there is not yet a concrete plan for resolving the Syrian conflict. "In our talks with Mr. Brahimi and with our American colleagues, we are trying to feel a way out of this situation on the basis of our common plan of action that was agreed in Geneva in June," he said, according to Reuters.

Officials have been vague about what is on the table as a series of high-level officials meet. Brahimi arrived in Damascus on Dec. 24 and Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad was in Moscow today, possibly meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia's envoy for Middle East affairs, Reuters reports.

CNN says that the Geneva plan was able to find some common ground between Russia and China on one side and France, Britain, the US, and Turkey on the other. That was, however, partially due to the fact that it didn’t address question of Assad's role in a transitional government.

According to the communique, the transitional government "could include members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent."

Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of political risk analysis firm Cornerstone Global Associates, told Bloomberg that it is unlikely we will see a public "abandonment" of Assad because of Russia's naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus and billions of dollars worth of arms contracts with Damascus. 

Permissions

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Editors' picks:

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Endeavor Global, cofounded by Linda Rottenberg (here at the nonprofit’s headquarters in New York), helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Linda Rottenberg helps people pursue dreams – and create thousands of jobs

She's chief executive of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit group that gives a leg up to budding entrepreneurs.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!