Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Big Sticking Point in Syrian "Peace" Talks: Defining "Terrorist Groups"

Syria's Assad defines a "terrorist" as anyone who's fighting him, a definition that certainly takes in assorted jihadi baddies, but that is a tad too, well, broad for the UN (my bolds):
Syria's government told a U.N. envoy on Saturday it was ready to take part in Geneva peace talks scheduled for Jan. 25 but said it wanted to know which opposition figures would participate. 
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, who met U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura in Damascus, also demanded a list of groups that would be classified as terrorist, Syrian state media reported. 
The Geneva talks are part of an international bid to end the five-year conflict that has killed an estimated 250,000 people. The plan for a hoped-for ceasefire envisages defining "terrorist groups" in Syria, one of the toughest issues facing diplomats. 
The Syrian government views all the groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad as terrorists, including rebels represented in a recently formed opposition council tasked with overseeing the negotiations.
So let's see--some of the "rebels" who comprise the opposition and who may or may not be jihadi terrorists in the ISIS-sense of things are in charge of the "peace" negotiations. Then again, they likely won't be running stuff if the UN assents to the Assadian definition of "terrorism."

All things considered, that should work out just fine.

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