Rassegna Esteri

’Deep Breaths’ for Tough New Syria Talks in Vienna

Local Editor

Some 20 countries and international bodies meet in Vienna again Saturday groping for a way out of Syria’s horrific crisis.

The second such gathering in two weeks comes as Takfiri militants suffer a number of setbacks in Syria and Iraq at the hands of the Syrian government army helped by Russian airstrikes, and Kurdish forces.

Before leaving for Vienna, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that a quick breakthrough was unlikely in the talks which bring together key players like Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UN special envoy Steffan de Mistura.

“I cannot say… that we are on the threshold of a comprehensive agreement, no,” said Kerry, who arrived in the Austrian capital Friday afternoon for preliminary talks with his Saudi, Turkish and UN counterparts. “The walls of mistrust within Syria, within the region, within the international community are thick and they are high.”

In over four years, the crisis in Syria had killed over 250,000 people and forced millions into exile, leaving many of them stranded in neighboring states.

Others have headed to Europe, where authorities have been on alert after several deadly extremist attacks this year. In the latest, 120 people were killed in a wave of coordinated attacks in Paris Friday, including a massacre during a concert and blaming France’s military intervention in Syria.

At the last talks on Oct. 30, the participants urged the United Nations to broker a peace deal between the government and opposition to clear the way for a new constitution and UN-supervised elections.

Building on that, this round of talks in the Austrian capital will try to agree on a road map for peace that would include a ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and some opposition groups.

Source: Al-Ahed news

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