The Syria Peace Talks that began today in an effort to end the three-year civil war have, thus far, gotten off to a really bad start. What was meant to begin as peaceful talks to continue to develop a plan for action has now, after several hours, turned into raging debate between certain members involved in the talks. Mostly the confrontation is coming from Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem who had many things to say against the plans created in the start of the peace talks three months ago.
Today officials from more than 40 countries met to discuss the fate of Syria and what, if any, resolution could be helpful in restoring peace and order to the country that has suffered hundreds of thousands of deaths and displacements over the last three years. The UN’s Ban Ki-moon instructed all who attended to be serious and constructive in their speeches so that the meeting could come to a peaceful resolution. Each member was only allotted 10 minutes for the opening statements though Foreign Minister Muallem had more on his mind than ten minutes worth of speech and he was determined to get it all out.
Muallem went well over ten minutes during his speech, a speech which used harsh language and very criticizing remarks. This move was frowned upon by UN’s Ban Ki-moon but Muallem continued on to make his point heard. He expressed his disapproval of the plans created in Geneva I stating, “No-one in the world has the right to confer or withdraw the legitimacy of a president, a constitution or a law, except for the Syrians themselves.” These statements and many others were what started the Syria Peace Talks off to a bad start, as Muallem only continued on to detest and insult.
The plans created in Geneva I originally proposed a six step plan for removing Syria President Bashar al-Assad from power and offering a transitional plan for Syria. The opposition National Coalition is demanding that Assad resign and be tried as an accessory to the criminal regime. The meetings are supposed to determine a transitional government for Syria with mutual consent, meaning in a divided nation both sides will have to agree to the plans put into place.
Despite Muallem’s claims that only Syria citizens can change Syria, many from other countries believe that it is the UN’s duties to end the mass slaughter in Syria. But with current opposition and many rebels and even Iran not in attendance at the talks a solution may be a long way off. While Ban Ki-moon made statements reflecting optimism on the results of these meetings many other officials have made pessimistic statements about whether a solution can be found for Syria. According to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, “thousands more innocent Syrians will pay the price” if the peace talks fail.
Face-to-face negotiations are supposed to start on Friday to implement a plan for ending the war in Syria but if no solution is found it could be awfully hard for the UN and other officials of foreign countries to convince Syria to implement a plan. The officials from over 40 countries have definitely got their work cut out for them. After the Syria Peace Talks have gotten off to a bad start between the UN and Syria’s Foreign Minister it will be up to the remainder of the country’s officials to try to create speeches that move closer to a solid plan. Tension expressed from Muallem will hopefully cease moving forward in the talks and everyone can maybe just get along.
By Crystal Boulware