30 November, 2015

Syria ~ the peace process

At the time of writing (30th November 2015) the British government is seeking to extend bombing to ISIL targets in Syria. The Royal Air Force is already engaged in Iraq.

Since 2012 there has been a peace process seeking to bring the Syrian Civil War to an end and the UK government is committed to this process.  Here are some links with further information:

Action Group for Syria - Final Commuique of 30th June 2012

Final Declaration on the results of the Syria talks in Vienna as agreed by participants - 30th October 2015

Statement of the International Syria Support Group - 14th November 2015



UN Security Council - Documents relating to Syria

Some background:


An “action group” conference (now referred to as the Geneva I Conference on Syria) was held on 30 June 2012 in Geneva, initiated by Kofi Annan, the then UN peace envoy to Syria, and attended by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov, a representative of China, the then British Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary, William Hague, and Kofi Annan.

The Geneva II Conference on Syria (also called the Geneva II Middle East peace conference or simply Geneva II) was a United Nations-backed international peace conference on the future of Syria with the aim of ending the Syrian civil war by bringing together the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition to discuss steps towards a transitional government for Syria with full executive powers. The conference took place on 22 January 2014 in Montreux and on 23–31 January 2014 in Geneva. It was coordinated and managed by the then UN peace envoy to Syria following Kofi Annan’s resignation, the highly respected Lakhdar Brahimi, in cooperation with the United States and Russia. The second round of negotiations took place on 10–15 February 2014.

On 5 May 2015 the UN began consultations with Syrian government and opposition officials in search of enough common ground to restart peace talks. The UN’s special envoy, the experienced mediator Staffan de Mistura said more than 40 groups had been invited to attend one-on-one meetings over the following five to six weeks. Iran and Turkey were also invited, but “jihadist militant groups” were not.

At their meeting on 14 November 2015 the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), whose 20 members include (as well as the UK) the US, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the Arab Leagie, Turkey, China and the UN, stated their commitment to ensure a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the 2012 Geneva Communique “in its entirety”. The ISSG agreed on the need to convene Syrian government and opposition representatives in formal negotiations under UN auspices with a target date of 1 January 2016.  The ISSG repeated that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh) as well as the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, and “other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, as agreed by the participants and endorsed by the UN Security Council, must be defeated.

Britain has participated from the start, and continues to participate, in a huge international effort to develop a peace strategy.  It can only be done on an international scale, managed by the UN.

1 comment:

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