Last updated: 16 January, 2014

Syria minister says Geneva II won’t solve crisis

Syria’s National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar said Thursday that the so-called Geneva II peace talks slated for next week will not solve the Syrian crisis.

Speaking at a seminar in Damascus, Haidar said: “Don’t expect anything from Geneva II. Neither Geneva II, not Geneva III nor Geneva X will solve the Syrian crisis.”

He added: “The solution has begun, and will continue through the military triumph of the state… and through the staying power and resilience of the state and all its institutions, in the face of its enemies who were betting on its collapse.”

The peace conference is slated to open in Switzerland on January 22, and is aimed at bringing to the negotiation table regime and opposition representatives.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad said it will send a delegation, while the main opposition National Coalition has not yet confirmed whether it will attend the meeting.

Haidar said that Geneva II will yield no results “for two reasons: the international community is not ready for it yet and the Syrian people will not be properly represented.”

The talks are sponsored by the United States and Russia, which back opposing sides in a war that has killed more than 130,000 people in nearly three years.

Syria’s war broke out after the army unleashed a brutal crackdown against a March 2011 peaceful uprising demanding political change. The revolt later morphed into a bloody insurgency.

“Today they (the international community) want to confiscate the Syrian people’s right to decide for itself… Keep your hands away from Syria, and Syria will be just fine,” Haidar said.