Syria

Supporters of Assad and Rebels Back Syria Peace Conference

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Credit: VOA News; Scott Bobb reporting from Aleppo, Syria

The G8 has backed plans for a peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva.

The statement released at the G8 summit does not detail what will happen to Assad after the conflict in Syria is over or what role, if any, he will play in a future government. Russia, one of Assad's closest allies, had previously said that Assad's removal could not be a precondition for a peace conference, so it remains unclear exactly how a transitional government will be achieved, especially considering that British Prime Minister David Cameron wanted a transitional government in place that would not include Assad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made sure earlier in the conference to stress the presence of unpleasant elements within Assad's opposition, saying that many of the rebels are exactly the same as the young men who murdered a British soldier in London last month.

While G8 leaders may have made an agreement to have a peace conference rebels in Syria are unlikely to be reassured that Assad's removal is not a precondition. Given that Assad's removal is not guaranteed as a precondition by the conference it is hard to see what meaningful and long-lasting developments can come out of the still unscheduled Geneva peace conference that will make a political outcome of the Syrian conflict any more feasible or reassuring.

Even if the Syrian government and rebel representatives were to agree to conditions for peace talks the conflict in Syria involves forces that may reject whatever agreement could be reached. Jihadists who have sided with Assad's opposition have different goals that many other rebels, and will not consider themselves binding to an agreement made at a peace conference. 

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  1. How can we claim they are a threat later if we don’t arm them now?

  2. The G8 has backed plans for a peace conference on Syria to be held in Geneva.

    But the U.S. can arm the Swiss, right? We need to arm someone.

  3. OOOh, a conference.
    I hope there’s hookers.

    1. Of course. I’m sure hookers will be as plentiful as cocktail meatballs and won tons at the G8 opening night open bar mixer.

  4. I hate to be cynical, but I suspect any peace accord will last exactly long enough for Putin and OGL to win the next Nobel Peace Prize.

  5. There’s not going to be any peace there until Assad’s corpse is dragged through the street by rebels who subsequently establish Syria as a secular democracy ruled by law, not by clans or tribes or clerics.

    So, never.

    1. Eh, partitioning the country might work. Not that partitioning has great track record, but it might reduce the slaughter. Russia gets to keep the naval base in the Alawite section, maybe the Kurds get a slice, and the rest of country can focus on descending into Sharia hell.

    2. “rebels who subsequently establish Syria as a secular democracy ruled by law, not by clans or tribes or clerics.”

      I find this to be the more improbable statement you made, not about Assad.

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