The United Nations hopes to mediate direct negotiations between representatives of both the Assad government and the opposition coalition.
In an effort to end the war in Syria, the United Nations hopes to mediate direct negotiations between representatives of both the Assad government and the opposition coalition. The meeting is to begin on January 24th in Montreaux, Switzerland.
Some eight months ago, the United States and Russia vowed to assist the United Nations in bringing about a face-to-face meeting between the two sides. In preparation for the conference, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss how best to convince both sides to work with the international community to end the conflict.
“We are in full agreement that we have to do all we can in order to begin the process in Geneva, a process that we all understand will be difficult and will take some time. But we must begin and we must begin now,” said Secretary Kerry:
“We are in full agreement that the resolution to this conflict must be peaceful, that there isn’t a military solution. And we are in full agreement that we need to make our best efforts.”
“Bringing the two sides together in order to begin these conversations is absolutely critical,” said Secretary Kerry. “It’s our hope that in the face-to-face meeting of the regime and the opposition will be the beginning of the end to this unspeakable conflict.”
“The anguish of the Syrian people demands action. Our global responsibilities, which we accept, demand action. Our conscience collectively demands action. So it is imperative for all of us that we try to push towards the peace and stability that the people of Syria long for and deserve, and the stability that the region, all of those countries affected most adversely – Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and others – they also need to find stability and peace in this process.”
“It’s time for the Syrian people to be able to chart a future for themselves where all Syrians have a say and a stake in their nation’s success,” said Secretary Kerry. “And we believe that we can help them start to walk down that path with our actions today, but most importantly with what can begin in Montreaux and move to Geneva.”