Syria Peace Talks and Refugee Plan


As the delicate peace talks in Syria between rebels and the current government continued,  a refugee plan is being considered in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and women and children are being released from Homs. Reports indicate that the mediation got off to a positive start. On Saturday, leaders met face to face to achieve some sort of peace agreement, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The opposition sought aid from the government in Syria, whose forces blocked off the City of Homs. The idea is to get a convoy to the neighborhoods where many women and children have been trapped since the blockade. The Syrian special envoy from the United Nations (U.N.) told reporters that the governor of Homs met with people from the U.N. to get food and other supplies inside the rebel-held city. Most of Homs is still in control by the current government of Syria, but some areas are not.

An agreement has been proposed to do a prisoner exchange between the rebels and the government in Syria. Aid delivery given to suffering people in Syria will be a major milestone in the eyes of many in the Middle East as civil war and unrest has rocked the country in an ongoing struggle for political control. There have been disturbing reports that aid agreements were previously arranged, then denied at last minute and that several civilians in Syria have died from starvation or malnutrition, according to the New York Times.

The peace talks in Syria and the refugee plan coming from the U.K. are being watched around the world as the conflict the country slows to a simmer after many fiery-hot battles that have taken more than 100,000 lives since it all began. The local cease-fires have been mostly consistent, though the Bashar al-Assad-led government is blamed for at least one bombing. Homs was a key city in the beginning of the uprising against the government in Syria, according to sources.

One problem that persists in Syria is that the rebellion has now become fractured and segmented by many other groups with different agendas, including those of the jihadist movements. Some of them include al Qaeda affiliates and enthusiasts. The talks were produced out of the Geneva convention and opposition leaders present said they are willing to negotiate but not surrender.

The government wants the names of the individuals they plan to release, so they know that they are releasing innocent civilians. CNN reported that diplomats said the regime in Syria has largely prevented any humanitarian missions or aid from taking place. This has gone on for several months.

Many of the humanitarian workers and diplomats remain skeptical as to what results the peace talks might have on the ground in Syria after seeing the atrocities there. Opposition leaders have said that they aren’t interested in military gains when it comes to humanitarian aid, because starvation should not be used to win a war. The peace talks in Syria and refugee plan from the British are both uncertain at this point.

By Rob Lawson




New York Times