(NEW YORK) — Those peace talks to end the conflict in Syria that were originally supposed to have gotten underway in June might not begin until autumn.
The much-ballyhooed summit brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is at least three months off schedule now, with Kerry announcing from an Asian security meeting in Brunei on Tuesday that September looks like the earliest date.
He made the announcement following a meeting with Lavrov in which the only positive development was that both the U.S. and Russia remain committed to finding a non-military solution to the 28-month-long conflict that has cost more than 100,000 lives.
The failure to get the talks off the ground has been blamed on two factors. One is a disagreement between Washington and Moscow about whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should play a role in negotiations, since the U.S. sees no post-war future with al-Assad, while Moscow contends the leader’s fate is up to the Syrian people.
Meanwhile, the uncertain makeup of the opposition has also thrown a monkey wrench into the logistics of setting up a summit in Geneva because there’s been no consensus about which groups should be represented at the talks.
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