Geneva II peace conference on Syria lacks validating reasons

Raed Omari
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As a basic principle, convincing reason needs to be established for any international gathering on whatever topic, setting forth a valid basis for attendance and abidance in the case of a declaration. This is exactly the case when a list of protocols annexed to an international treaty and declaration or when validating reasons attached to an invitation to a world conference.

With the absence of such considerations, any international conference will be nothing more than a ceremonial event with participates shaking hands and taking group photos here and there. Such aspects are totally absent in the preparations to the much-delayed Geneva II peace conference on Syria.


In fact, this is not a legal account of the Geneva II conference on Syria but a discussion of "common sense" and internationally-accredited conventions always preceding and following world gatherings in which the upcoming U.S.-Russia proposed meeting is not an exception.

In other words, if no pre-arrangements have been made ahead of Geneva II, and no clear agenda has been set forth, then the long awaited peace negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition will be just talks for the sake of talking. This is the least to be said about the projected conference peace if it actually takes place.

It is not even made clear what is the exact objective behind the proposed high-profile meeting and who exactly will be attending from the Syria clashing parties. Is it only to discuss a proposed transitional government? Can an interim government be really established amidst such a hostile environment? What about the large-scale suffering?

Cease-fire stipulations

Remarkably enough, the peace conference, which is said to be backed by the UN, is so far lacking any of the international organization's well-known protocols on struggles, including an agreed-upon ceasefire.

In fact, there is no excuse whatsoever for not including an item on the conference agenda, seeking an immediate end to the unbearable suffering of the "forsaken" Syrians. This anyway lies at the heart of the morality of the UN and its image as the guardian of human rights.

It is reported by Syrians that the Red Cross and Red Crescent have succeeded in negotiating humanitarian ceasefire to bring in aid to besieged people in Eastern Ghouti, which was subjected to the Aug.21, 2013 chemical weapons attack.

However, why the UN is not doing the same in other parts of Syria where the two relief agencies are not reportedly allowed to operate is in fact difficult to understand.

Sadly enough, the unprecedented suffering of the Syrian people has never been a factor in giving their country's more than two-and-a-half-year-old civil war an "urgency status" by the U.S.-led international community.

Can't it be enough for the U.S. to see the Syrian people eating the bodies of dead animals as a result of the regime's besiege of their towns to move swiftly on Syria and help realize convincing and sustainable peace talks between the Syrian regime and the opposition? Leading the world has a moral duty to abide by.

In other words, if no pre-arrangements have been made ahead of Geneva II, and no clear agenda has been set forth, then the long awaited peace negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition will be just talks for the sake of talking.

Raed Omari

Let Geneva II conference be a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis but let it be also accompanied by convincing factors ensuring its success and sustainability. One of such prerequisites, in addition to a ceasefire and a deployment of UN humanitarian missions inside Syria, is a U.S.'s "real" support of the opposition, including the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), to match the heavily Russian-backed Syrian regime. The Western-backed SNC is seemingly not that internationally recognized as a fully-fledged Syrian opposition.

The talk about the Syrian opposition lacking negotiating skills has to do in fact with the Syrian regime's decades-long crackdown on partisan activity in Syria which obliged any one wishing to join a sports club to refer first to Air Force Intelligence.

In fact, the ongoing bombing campaign on the northern city of Aleppo using TNT-packed barrels amidst increasing talk about Geneva II proves with no doubt how the Syrian regime is fully certain of such a gap in the U.S. vs. Russian support.

Aside from any indulgence in "conspiracy theory," Syria's chemical arsenal seems to be the U.S.'s only stake in Syria as of course lying at the heart of Israel's security. As argued by many Syrians and also veteran analysts, the U.S.'s enthusiasm to involve in the Syria crisis has decreased considerably with the chemical weapons dilemma being resolved.


Raed Omari is a Jordanian journalist, political analyst, parliamentary affairs expert, and commentator on local and regional political affairs. His writing focuses on the Arab Spring, press freedoms, Islamist groups, emerging economies, climate change, natural disasters, agriculture, the environment and social media. He is a writer for The Jordan Times, and contributes to Al Arabiya English. He can be reached via [email protected], or on Twitter @RaedAlOmari2

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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