On January 23, 2014, the Geneva II conclave on Syria’s future opened. The U.N. supported talks, sought to bring together representatives from both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the Western-backed political opposition for the first time since the multi-level civil war began almost three years ago. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called the Geneva II conference "a vehicle for a peaceful transition" that would fulfill Syrians' aspirations for freedom and dignity. The goal of Geneva II would be to achieve an agreement between the government and the opposition for the full implementation of the Geneva Communique.
Assad, and by extension his government, is guilty of war crimes and the wanton destruction of a center of Arab culture and societyDr. Theodore Karasik