Irreconcilable Differences Ahead of Syrian Peace Talks

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Irreconcilable Differences Ahead of Syrian Peace Talks
by Stephen Lendman
US supported terrorist groups, representing the so-called opposition, have unacceptable preconditions going into talks this week.
They want Assad out, puppet governance installed, and Syria partitioned into mini-states (John Kerry’s so-called Plan B) – advocating federalized local autonomy as a first step.
During a Saturday press conference in Damascus, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said his country’s delegation will participate in talks scheduled to begin Monday.
It “will not repeat the same mistake that happened in the previous round. They are going to wait 24 hours only” – then leave if opposition delegates don’t show up.
“We are looking forward to having dialogue with the broadest spectrum of opposition groups in implementation of (the) mandate by the UN Security Council and the Vienna and Munich communiques, particularly the national opposition…that is not linked to any foreign agenda,” he explained.
Syrian leadership and future elections won’t be discussed, al-Moallem calling these issues and others relating to Syrian governance the “exclusive right of the Syrian people.” Foreign interference won’t be tolerated.
“(O)ur delegation will reject any attempt to put this issue on the schedule.” He added “with confidence that (Syrian) people will reject any attempts at dividing the country” through federalization or partition.
He’s unsure who, if anyone, representing the so-called opposition will show up in Geneva. He stressed Syrian leadership won’t “bow to anyone, whether states or groups.”
He blasted Turkey’s Erdogan, saying he’s “blackmailing the entire world,” claiming to fight terrorism while supporting it, blocking humanitarian aid from reaching Syrians in desperate need – violating Security Council Res. 2165 mandating “relief deliver(ies) through more border crossings across conflict lines.”
Russia affirmed its support for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity. On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov called reported talks among global powers of the possibility of federalizing Syria “total nonsense.”
“We are not voicing such ideas,” he stressed. Syrians alone must decide on the future of their country and how it’s to be governed – free from foreign interference.
Russia supports maintaining Syrian territorial integrity. Longstanding US plans call for partition. 
Former NATO commander, retired US admiral James Stavridis, urged dividing Syria into three mini-states, comprised of Alawites, Sunnis and Kurds – a dead-on-arrival proposal.
Syrian peace talks are deadlocked before beginning, proceeding a waste of time. How long they’ll continue before ending in impasse remains to be seen.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.