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Is it the time for Geneva III?

Nov 17,2014 - Last updated at Nov 17,2014

With the failure of the Geneva II peace conference for Syria, the option of a political resolution seems to be back on the table again.

In Geneva, the US’ priority was a political transition, while Russia’s focus was combating terrorism in Syria.

The developments of the last few months make combating terrorism a priority, particularly as efforts to support moderate opposition groups in order to replace terrorist movements also failed.

Developments prompted UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to return to Damascus hoping to see some steps towards a practical solution that does not involve immediate political change.

“Freezing” the conflict in key areas would be one of these steps; it would guarantee safe corridors for the return of refugees. This is particularly important as the return of Syrian refugees is an increasingly important issue for Lebanon and Jordan, where many of the refugees found safe haven.

The Russians accelerated diplomatic efforts to achieve a political solution based on understanding among the various groups in Syria. Moscow is charting an unconventional course, targeting varied groups in Syria in an attempt at convincing them to be part of a political solution.

The Russians are looking to return to Geneva with a coalition of Syrian groups and using their combined agreement to build a political solution and avoid the mistakes of Geneva II.

For the Russians, combating terrorism can be deprioritised, as long as there is a real alternative that does not involve political change.

Any political settlement in Syria would have an impact on the neighbouring countries, particularly Jordan, which has geographic, economic and social links with Syria.

In any regional settlement, Jordan-Syria relations would need to be revised.

It should be a strong partnership based on mutual strategic interests that enables Jordan to control and play a key role in the tensions among Lebanon, Syria and Israel. 

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