Assad regime to attend second round of Geneva II conference
Speaking on Syrian television this morning, the Syrian deputy foreign minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, announced that the Syrian government will be attending the second round of peace talks in Geneva starting on the 10th of February.
The first round of the Geneva II conference on Syria started on the 22nd of January and was the first time the opponents of Syria had come together for face-to-face negotiations since the conflict started in March 2011.
The majority of this first round centred around the Geneva Comunique, a document which calls for an end to the violence that has claimed 100,000 lives and forced 9.5 million people from their homes, and for the formation of a transitional government.
The latter point caused much debate, with the opposition insisting on the Assad family having no part in a new government. As such, the first round of talks ended in deadlock with uncertainty being cast on whether or not Assad would attend a second round of talks.
Corinne Momal-Vanian, the spokeswoman for the United Nations in Geneva, told a press conference: “We have received the composition of the delegation of the Syrian government, and we are still waiting the composition of the delegation from the opposition. Both are coming.” However, she shared no information on agenda for the talks.