Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

UN and Others Play Down Expectations for Geneva Talks on Syria

UN and Others Play Down Expectations for Geneva Talks on Syria

MUNICH  - The United Nations and other parties to Syrian peace efforts on Sunday softened any expectations of a major breakthrough at U.N.-led talks in Geneva next week, with U.S. policy on the crisis in disarray and its ties with Russia unclear.
U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura told the Munich Security Conference the lack of a clear U.S. position made resolving the complex issues of the six-year civil war far more complicated than his earlier mediation efforts for Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I can't tell you (if it will succeed), but we have to push with the momentum. Even a ceasefire cannot hold too long if there is no political (solution)," he said, referring to the shaky ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey in the Kazakh capital Astana.
Questions abound over Washington's approach to ending the war, even after the first international foray by members of U.S. President Donald Trump's foreign policy team. It remains unclear if Trump will make good his promise to build closer ties to Russia, especially in the fight against Islamic State.
"One thing I’m missing at the moment ... is a clear U.S. strategy,” de Mistura told delegates. "Where are the United States (on a political solution)? I can’t tell you, because I don’t know.” (Reuters)