Column: Lausanne meeting on Syria: pointless and fruitless

Column: Lausanne meeting on Syria: pointless and fruitless
A baby killed by Assad-Russian airstrikes on Aleppo

A new round of talks reached deadlock once again, as a nine-nation meeting in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Saturday did not agree on any concrete action to stop the violence in Syria and end the killing, displacement, sieges and torture of millions for more than 5 years and counting.

After more than four hours, the meeting ended without any joint statement from the participating countries, as Russian warplanes in addition to Assad and Iranian-led Shiite mercenaries continue to slaughter the Syrian people.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that the talks were “constructive,” but admitted that the parties had failed to agree on any concrete action, Al-Jazeera English reported.

Kerry also said the next contact between sides at the talks would be on Monday to discuss future steps.

A former Western envoy in Syria told Reuters: “I don’t understand [why] the Americans are asking the Russians to talk again. They have made zero concessions. Do the Americans believe Moscow was shaken by the break-off last week and will change behavior now?”

Separately, a Western diplomat in Lausanne said the meeting appeared ill-prepared and vague in its goals, and the list of invitees had been announced only at the last moment.

On its part, the Syrian opposition stated that it was not waiting for this meeting to be any different from the previous ones in adopting decisive actions that would stop the ongoing Russian-made massacres in Syria, and thus will work on activating communication with the European countries in the coming period.

The head of the Syrian opposition negotiating delegation Asa’ad al-Zoubi stated that “we knew that the meeting will not lead to results,” adding that “as long as the Russians and the Americans are in a meeting, we will not receive good news.”

Al-Zoubi told The New Arab that Moscow and Washington “are concerned with their own interests, even if the price is killing people.”

He pointed out that “whoever counts on Russia and the United States is out of this world.”

In addition, member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) Yahya Maktabi argued that “Russia is acting as a superpower, while the United States is acting as a small state lacking the ability to influence, especially at the level of implementing international resolutions concerning the Syrian file.”

Maktabi confirmed the Syrian opposition’s welcoming of a greater role of European countries in the Syrian issue who were not represented at the meeting, according to The New Arab.

Kerry, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and the foreign ministers of Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq participated in the Lausanne talks − which just like the previous ones, Geneva I, II and III conferences and the Vienna process – constituted another failed attempt by the international community to find a political solution for the Syrian tragedy.

Bringing the perpetrators of crimes to the negotiating table will not just give them the upper hand during negotiations, but will also give them a chance to rid themselves of their crimes and atrocities, which have become too obvious for the world to deny.

However, if the holocaust perpetrated by Assad together with his Russian and Iranian allies is not stopped, then no meetings will bring stability, security or freedom to Syria. How can those killing the Syrian people negotiate for a political solution to end the death of the very people they are killing?

In conclusion, the Lausanne meeting was as expected: pointless and fruitless.

Halla Barakat – Orient Net