Opinion | Editorials

Syria decision to sit in talks is welcome

Events on the ground cannot be ignored. There has to be accountability for past actions

  • by Gulf News
  • Published: 20:19 May 25, 2013
  • Gulf News

After more than two years of darkness and bloodshed in Syria, finally there is the first glimmer of hope, the first light daring to surface that there may be the prospect, if not of ending then certainly at least curtailing the fighting.

Last Thursday, Russia’s foreign ministry said that it had received confirmation from the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad that it would be willing to take part in an international conference aimed at ending the conflict.

The decision by all parties to attend the talks is to be welcomed. But for the conference to succeed, its objectives have to be clear. The parties are going to the conference without any preconditions. While this may seem logical, events on the ground cannot be ignored. There has to be accountability for past action. Those with blood on the hands have to face justice. There cannot be a place for them in the new Syria.

As it stands right now, more than 80,000 people have died in the conflict, more than two million have been displaced internally while hundreds of thousands more seek shelter in neighbouring countries in miserable and difficult conditions.

The conflict in Syria is nowhere near ending. Recently, government forces have managed to retake some villages and bases overrun by the rebel forces.

While Iran has steadfastly denied it has any troops on the ground assisting the government in Syria, Hezbollah fighters are becoming increasingly embroiled in the conflict.

The war in Syria is threatening all the more to boil over and spill into neighbouring states. Tripoli is a city under lock down, where factions resort to weapons as Lebanese authorities try to keep the lid on the violence.

The offer of talks is the first credible move in 26 long months. The United Nations and the Arab League’s peace efforts have been failures – nothing was achieved and the blood letting continued unabated. No one has ever died from talking – but they have from not doing so.

Gulf News

Opinion Editor's choice
  • Why the world is getting safer
    Why the world is getting safer

    Despite all the horrible news, deaths in warfare and disease have been falling for decades

  • Reuniting the United Kingdom
    Reuniting the United Kingdom

    Now the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland — not rejected after all — must behave as well as possible to salvage something workable from the sometimes bitter and divisive arguments

  • opn_140921  isil violence
    Nations must unite to fight extremism

    The international community needs an urgent and sustained effort to confront a threat that will, if left unchecked, have global ramifications

Technology vs humanity

Is technology not a match for mans cunning?

Quick Links

  1. Business

  2. Sport

  3. The latest Entertainment news

  4. The latest Lifestyle stories

  5. Blogs

  6. Opinion

In Opinion

  1. Meet Our Writers

  2. Columnists

  3. Editorials

  4. Off the Cuff

  5. Your say

  6. Speak Your Mind

Latest Columns

  1. When Scots decided to stay with Britain

  2. Why did the West drag its feet on Ebola?

  3. Beleaguered Ukraine needs money not arms

  4. Modi’s juggernaut stuck in ‘m’ mode

  5. Arab world loves and hates America

  6. New brand of ‘gender equality’?