After two-and-a-half years of a brutal war that has claimed more than
100,000 lives and displaced nine million people, the Syrian Government
and the Opposition have agreed to hold their first face-to-face
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the conference – scheduled to
take place on January 22 – as “a mission of hope”, however, many
experts remain pessimistic that the talks will even take place.
“The concern for the Opposition is that either they dissolve in
disagreement or they are outmanoeuvred at the table by a Syrian regime
that holds more cards at this point,” said Mona Yacoubian, a senior
Middle East adviser at the Washington-based Stimson Centre.
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