Quantcast
Connect with us

Kerry tries to charm Syrian opposition groups into peace talks

Published

on

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will lead meetings with the fractured Syrian opposition on Sunday in Paris, in a bid to convince the Syrian National Coalition’s newly re-elected leader to participate in peace talks slated to begin on January 22.

As the Jan. 22 peace talks in Switzerland near, the main Western-backed moderate political group trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has not decided whether it will attend.

It’s the latest frustration for the U.S. and allies who have spent the past 18 months trying to negotiate a transition of power from Assad to a new, representative government.

The Sunday meeting of the “Friends of Syria” grouping at the French foreign affairs ministry will include ministers from 11 countries that support the so-called Geneva 2 peace process as well as the president of Syria’s main opposition National Coalition, Ahmed Jarba.

Those countries—the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan—will increase pressure on Jarba to persuade the opposition to join the UN-led talks, which are set to open in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22.

The talks would be the first time since the war erupted in March 2011 that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad sits down with the opposition to discuss an end to hostilities.

ADVERTISEMENT

But while the regime has said it will attend, the fractious, exiled opposition postponed a vote on whether to participate until January 17.

Iran will not participate in the Geneva 2 process, US diplomats said Friday. However last week the United States appeared for the first time to suggest that Iran might play a role on the sidelines of a Syria peace conference even if Tehran is not formally invited.

Kerry will also take advantage of his stop in Paris to return to the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, with a meeting of Arab League nations.

Kerry had been expected to return to Israel later next week as he seeks to hammer out a framework to guide the negotiations in the coming months.

ADVERTISEMENT

The State Department did say that the Paris meetings will keep Kerry from travelling to Israel for Monday’s funeral of former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

After Paris, Kerry heads to Kuwait on January 15 for a Syria donor’s conference set to be attended by officials from some 60 countries.

The conference aims to raise around $6.5 billion to help Syrian civilians affected by the war.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Christian university president quits after massive backlash over inviting Mike Pence

Published

on

Vice President Mike Pence's role in toxic administrations caused such a backlash that a Christian university is now searching for a new president.

"Taylor University President Paul Lowell Haines has resigned from the nondenominational Christian university a month after hosting Vice President Mike Pence as commencement speaker," Religious News Service reported Monday.

Students and alumni had protested the invitation.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Florida library forced to cancel ‘Pride Prom’ after death threat sparks fear for teens’ safety

Published

on

A Jacksonville, Florida library worked to hold a prom for LGBTQ teens who feel uncomfortable about going to their high school prom as they are or with the person they truly want to bring. That's why they started the Pride Prom. But after fears for the safety for the teens, the library had to cancel.

According to WOKV, the prom was supposed to be this Friday, with a Storybook theme where attendees were encouraged to dress up as their favorite storybook character. There would be music, dancing, a selfie station and more. All of that is over now, however.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump biographer mocks president for humiliating foreign policy ‘triple fail’

Published

on

Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien on Monday published a column for Bloomberg in which he mocked the president for suffering a humiliating foreign policy "triple fail" that exposed his presidency's biggest weaknesses.

In his column, O'Brien pointed out that Trump's threats of major actions against Mexico and Iran never amounted to anything, while also noting that the president backed off his plans to begin the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.
close-link