Negotiators at Syria Peace Talks Can’t Even Agree on Humanitarian Aid

The peace conference in Geneva has failed to deliver humanitarian aid to a starving population. Will opposing sides be able to agree on anything else?

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Wang Siwei / Xinhua Press / Corbis

U.N.-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a press conference in Geneva on Jan. 27, 2014.

After three days of talks to find a solution to the Syria conflict the negotiating parties have so far failed to deliver even the most minimal of goals—humanitarian access to the besieged city of Homs. The lack of progress underscores the difficulty of talks between government officials and opposition representatives. Nevertheless the two opposing sides will reconvene today, dragged to the negotiating table by the U.N., Russia and the United States, in an effort to tackle the even more contentious issue of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s tenure.

The regime’s refusal to authorize the entry of an international aid convoy into blockaded areas of Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, even under the threat of a referral to the U.N. Security Council, suggests the regime is feeling little pressure from the international community. Assad appears to be confident that his key allies, Russia and China, will block any Security Council resolutions, as they have in the past.

But a show of strength at the negotiating table does not necessarily translate to muscle on the ground, where the government has been locked in a months-long military stalemate with the opposition. Despite the deployment of massively destructive barrel bombs and conventional weapons, along with the influx of tens of thousands of Hizballah fighters funded and instructed by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, the government has been unable to substantially move the frontlines.

If nothing is gained at the negotiating table, that stalemate could last years, resulting in a de-facto partition of the country along sectarian lines, the exodus of more refugees and an incoming surge of jihadi volunteers from foreign lands determined to finish the war against Assad. This is what the U.N., the Russians and the Americans are trying to prevent by pushing for the peace conference in Geneva.  But if all the international powers can’t even manage to get a load of emergency supplies to a starving civilian population, it is unlikely that progress will be seen anywhere else.

25 comments
issam
issam

why america said During the Geneva Conference we will stay giving guns to opposition???
if america really wants to  push  peace it must stop sending guns to any part of opposition

RonSmith1
RonSmith1

The Military Industrial Complex never sleeps. Syrian government at least trying to talk peace while elements within the US government are trying to start a war: http://www.deftnews.com/?p=6728

HassaneElKhoury
HassaneElKhoury

They were not able to topple Bashar by force.They used all means including the services of recruits from all over the World?Do you really expect the man to give up power merely by  talk? 

Bacha Adnani
Bacha Adnani

يبقى الحل بايدي اصحاب المشكلة اعانك الله ووفقكم لما فيه الخير.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

Will the United States overcome income inequality and massive debt? Tune in tomorrow to reality!

Dee Lersch
Dee Lersch

Reminds you of our "Congress" doesn't it.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

It is the height of immortal folly not to believe people when they imply to you how intelligent they are. For indeed, you make yourself a fool.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

Suffice to say that mankind is an animal of continuous reconstruction; what he should create he then obliterate, only to replace it with something more efficient. #Lulz

John Low
John Low

Maybe they should wait until it gets bad...

Ammar Alsaied
Ammar Alsaied

It's an embarrassment to humanity how difficult it is to make any progress in helping end this crisis.

Olga
Olga

It is clear THE ONLY SOLUTION is to refer Assad to War Crimes Tribunal and remove him and set up a new transitional government. There is no way possible Assad can continue to remain in power and rule Syria after all that has happened and all the misery he has inflicted.  The UN should demonish Russia for sending military arms to  Assad, yet being part of this peace conference!  Russia is not  FOR PEASE, it is AGAINST IT, their sending arms and backing Assad in the UN with their powerful veto is not bringing peace any closer to Syrian people,because of Russia's protecting and aiding Assad. So in which case some other country, desiring peace to come about, should be at this conference representing Syria and not Russia's Lavrov....this is one of the MAJOR the reasons peace will not come about because Russia wants to keep Assad in power even if it involves the war continuing.  It is not Syria that is the problem in working toward peace....IT IS RUSSIA!

saintgeorge5
saintgeorge5

Right from the word go, the so called Syrian Free Army, resurrected by US, EU, Saudis, Turkey and helped by CIA and other Western Intels, were hell bent on Regime Change.


Syria has every right to defend itself , against Salafists, Al-Queda and other extreme Jihadists .


It is very hypocritical of Main Stream Media like yours to say that Iran is helping Assad regime,when their aim was regime change.  Question - Why did not West sought peaceful solution? Act as honest broker and avoid this blood bath.  


Introducing fictitious charges of Sarin gas attack charges.  Without going into any details, two American experts, former UN weapons inspector Richard Lloyd and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Postol-have authored a report demolishing Washington's claims.


More fictions, the testimony of "Caesar".  What a figment of imagination?


As i cannot go on, I have a aim on Kerry, I think his grey has effected his puerile grey matter.

major_sunam
major_sunam

The aid wll arrive when all terrorists lay down their weapons. This time they will not fool anyone with their lies.

humanity
humanity

@saintgeorge5

Hide your head in the sand by all means but please don't spout your regime propaganda here.

There is plenty of evidence that the chemical weapons attacks were carried out by the Syrian Government. The evidence of systematic torture, starvation and execution of prisoners by the Syrian government is also comprehensive - the report prepared by some of the most respected lawyers and forensic scientists in the world. That documented over 5000 killed from only 1 centre so the actual figure murdered in this way is probably in the 10s of thousands. As one of the lawyers said, it is commensurate with the worst of Nazi atrocities.

Syria has no right to kill its own civilians - be it by gas, bombs, tanks, mortars, incendiary bombs, surface to surface missiles, barrel bombs - all of which have been used. It has no right to starve its own population through medieval siege tactics. The Syrian government is acting in flagrant breach of international humanitarian law with more and more evidence piling up of war crimes.

The only hope for Syria now is Western military intervention and with it regime change. sadly this is unlikely to happen and we will see Syria slip further and further into the abyss. 

saintgeorge5
saintgeorge5

@humanity@saintgeorge5

You make sweeping statement, but where is the concrete evidence.  It is not I who has buried my head in sand.  It is you, who has no head to bury in sand.

It is Sunnis who are causing blood bath, eating dead person's organ.  They want to wipe out Shias, attacking Christians and other minorities.

Jihadists are even attacking, so called members of Free Syrian Army.

British Parliament, US Congress and even France would dare not attack, as there would be a blood bath, in Middle East.  For your information West and other Emarities are supplying weapons and their spooks are busy encouraging, blood bath.

Only Syrians should decide their future and not the blood thirsty, likes of Al-Nusra.