Friday, September 13, 2013

Blog 1: Syria Talks Yield Plan to Discuss Peace Conference

Summary:  Secretary of State, John Kerry met with Russian and United Nations officials Thursday, in Geneva to discuss the efforts to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control as part of a plan to eliminate them.  Earlier in the week, after being visibly uncertain about what action to take, President Barack Obama met with Russian president, Vladimir Putin to discuss a plan to disarm the Syrian government.  The United States and Russia have been previously divided on who should be involved in an international peace conference, so discussions this week and the intent to discuss more later this month seem to be a step in a unified direction.  However, officials are uncertain about how to get Syria's leaders to attend peace talks.  Syrian president, Assad has tentatively agreed to release information about chemical weapons used by his government, but the Syrian rebel opposition has not agreed and seems uncertain after President Obama's decision to hold on of military action.  Mr. Kerry and other officials believe this is the first part in a long process of ending the civil war in Syria.

Analysis:  This is not the first attempt to combat the civil war waging in Syria, and it is likely not going to be as easy agreeing to peace talks and handing over chemical weapons.  President Putin is not used to playing the role of peacemaker and some are skeptical of his willingness to do so.  He and his counterparts agree that military action is not acceptable in trying to control the Syrian government.  While he believes that Assad's willingness is a serious step in the direction of a resolution, American officials are skeptical that Assad will continue the steps to disclosing information and whereabouts of all of his chemical weapons.  While this may be a first step, it is far from a resolution.

Eva Holland
10:43 am

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