Match talks with ac­tion

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

THE peo­ple of Syria face a mis er­able fu­ture as the civil war grinds on with lit­tle hope for any peace­ful set­tle­ment. The be­wil­der­ing va­ri­ety of mili­tias and armed forces that dom­i­nate the fight­ing have lit­tle in­ter­est in mak­ing the nec­es­sary po­lit­i­cal com­pro­mises that would end the fight­ing, and no power is strong enough to force them to stop fight­ing. So it is deeply de­press­ing but not a real shock that Mo­ham­mad Al­loush, the chief ne­go­tia­tor of Syria’s main op­po­si­tion um­brella group, the High Ne­go­ti­a­tions Com­mit­tee, has re­signed over the fail­ure of the cur­rent round of peace talks.

Al­loush said that the talks had not brought a po­lit­i­cal deal or even eased the plight of Syr­i­ans in be­sieged ar­eas, where nearly half a mil­lion Syr­i­ans are trapped in sieges, suf­fer­ing star­va­tion and be­ing at­tacked and bombed by the armed forces that con­trol their ar­eas. Al­loush blamed Bashar Al As­sad’s govern­ment for con­tin­u­ing the fight­ing dur­ing the last three rounds of UN-backed talks, and Al As­sad’s Rus­sian al­lies for en­abling the regime forces to con­tinue fight­ing. Al­loush is also the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pow­er­ful Saudi-backed Jaish Al Is­lam rebel group and he com­mented that the talks had failed to even se­cure the re­lease of thou­sands of pris­on­ers in the regime’s cus­tody. If there has to be any hope in Syria, then all par­ties have to agree that talks should be ac­com­pa­nied by con­fi­dence-build­ing mea­sures. This was not hap­pen­ing and while the Syr­i­ans have their es­sen­tial role to play, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should do more to put pres­sure on the Rus­sians to bring Al As­sad to the ta­ble. — Gulf News

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