Inside Story

Will Syria’s warring sides reach the negotiating table?

Syrian government and opposition teams are in Geneva, but talks remain stalled.

Negotiations aimed at ending Syria’s civil war, which has lasted almost five years and killed more than 250,000 people, began in Geneva on Friday. But without Syria’s main opposition group.  

The Higher Negotiating Committee of the opposition has now arrived in Geneva, but talks are still not a guarantee.

The opposition leaders flew to Geneva to meet UN officials about certain humanitarian conditions they say are crucial to the talks. And until those are met, they’re refusing to discuss an end to the conflict.  

The UN’s envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura has been meeting the Syrian government delegation, which has been in Geneva since Friday.

This first round of talks is meant to last about six months, but with this rocky start, will that be enough time?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie


Bassam Bittar – Member, Syrian Democratic Council

Farah Attassi – Member, Riyadh Conference

Ian Black – Middle East Editor at The Guardian.