An inadvertent remark by US Secretary of State John Kerry has reignited the debate over what form any diplomatic solution could take in Syria.
Kerry conceded that after four years of conflict no military solution was possible and the US would 'have to negotiate in the end' with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
The State Department was quick to downplay his comments, insisting Kerry meant the Syrian government, and not Assad himself.
The renewed focus on a political settlement has taken on an added urgency as the conflict spills into a fifth year, a conflict made all the more complex by the growing threat from ISIL.
The main diplomatic push for peace in Syria has been through the so-called Geneva Talks, which effectively collapsed in February last year.
Russia has now invited the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan De Mistura, to more talks in Moscow next month.
But is a negotiated settlement even possible? And could Assad’s own government hold the key?
Presenter: Shiulie Ghosh
Marwan Kabalan - Syrian Academic and Associate Analyst at the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies.
Fawaz Gerges - Professor of Middle Eastern Politics at the London School of Economics.
Manal Omar – Acting Vice-President at the U.S. Institute of Peace Center for Middle East and Africa.
Source: Al Jazeera