Talks ‘suspended’ after rebels protest new barrage of air strikes on areas they hold in Syria.
As representatives from the Syrian government and armed opposition groups meet in the Kazakh capital Astana for the sixth round of the Astana talks, Al Jazeera tracks the international initiatives aimed at resolving the six-year Syrian conflict through diplomacy and negotiations.
The fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a transitional government have been the main sticking points in negotiations between the two sides.
During the five years of diplomatic talks, the government delegation and armed opposition groups have traded barbs, staged walk-outs, and vehemently disagreed on proposed resolutions.
More than 465,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting, more than a million injured and over 12 million Syrians – half the country’s prewar population – have been displaced from their homes.
Though there have been several international initiatives that aimed to bring an end to the war, the two main diplomatic tracks have been the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva, and the talks in Astana, facilitated by Russia and Turkey, who back opposing sides in the war.
The talks in Astana are meant to complement the broader political negotiations in Geneva, but have turned out to be more effective.
Kofi Annan, the joint United Nations and Arab League envoy to Syria, submitted on March 16 a six-point peace plan to the UN Security Council
It also called on all parties to stop the fighting and work with the UN in an “inclusive Syrian-led political process” to install an effective international supervision mechanism
Based on Annan’s peace plan, US and Russia officials, along with other major powers, meet in Geneva, Switzerland and agree on a road map for peace, known as the Geneva Communique
The document envisions the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would oversee elections and put the country on the path to democracy
The Syrian president offers his own peace plan that includes a national reconciliation conference, a new government and constitution
The Syrian opposition rejects the peace initiative
Talks collapse as UN fails to break the deadlock between the opposition and the government
The UN blames the Syrian government’s refusal to entertain the opposition’s demands
Lakhdar Brahimi resigns, citing impossibility to forge an effective international response to the conflict
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appoints Staffan de Mistura as Special Envoy for Syria on July 10
Syrian opposition and international backers denounced the election as a farce
A few weeks later, the last of Syria’s declared chemical weapons shipped out of the country for destruction
All 20 members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meet in Vienna and produce an agreement on the need to bring the Syrian government and the opposition to the negotiating table under UN auspices
The document becomes the basis for negotiations and serves as a framework for political transition
2254 outlines the UN’s support for a Syrian-led political process that “establishes credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance and sets a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution” within six months
The resolution also recommends “free and fair elections, pursuant to the new constitution, to be held within 18 months” under UN supervision
Talks are suspendedafter three days following disagreements between the opposition and the government over the priority of humanitarian issues such as releasing prisoners.
Turkey and Russia broker a nation-wide ceasefire that is agreed upon by the Syrian government and the armed opposition
Representatives of the armed opposition sit face-to-face with a government delegation for the first time
Neither the opposition nor the government delegation sign the agreement
Ends with the adoption of a document to formalise monitoring of the December ceasefire
Parties also agree to continue discussions of a mechanism to exchange corpses and prisoners, including women and children
Opposition refuses to attend talks, accuses government of failing to uphold the ceasefire declared in December
Russia, Turkey and Iran agree on plan for “de-escalation zones” in rebel-held territory
Opposition delegation suspends their participation citing government bombardment of rebel-held areas
Talks collapse after four days with no detailed discussions of items on the agenda
Russia, Turkey and Iran fail to hammer out details over boundaries and the policing of the four safe zones previously agreed
Talks conclude with no breakthrough
UN says Syrian government not willing to discuss political transition
Russia, Turkey and Iran agree to set up de-escalation zones in Syria for six months, which may be extended in the future