Moscow II Forum to be held over Syria crisis

Moscow II Forum to be held over Syria crisis
New talks to be held in Moscow in April aim to bring hope to Syria.
2 min read
11 March, 2015
Talks on Syria were held in Moscow in January [Anadolu]
The second Moscow Forum will be held at the beginning of April, according to a source in the Syrian opposition.

The first Moscow Forum brought together the Syrian regime and leading figures from the opposition, despite complaints that opposition movements were not fully represented. It is hoped the April summit will see broader participation and set in place a clear agenda.

The opposition source, who spoke to al-Araby al-Jadeed on condition of anonymity, expects the conference to take place from 6 to 9 April.

"The Russians have a new vision over how to manage the meeting which will differ from the first Moscow Forum," he said.

     Moscow Forum II will take place approximately two months after the first Moscow Forum was held.

The source said it is likely the relevant parties will be invited using their official names.

Invitations will be sent to the head of each political group, who will be accompanied by two people of his choice.

"A clear agenda will be set in place focusing on confidence-building measures, around which discussions will take place," the source added.

The main groups in the Syrian opposition, most notably the Syrian National Coalition, were absent from the first Moscow Forum because Russia invited attendees individually rather than through political groups.

The Damascus-based source, explained: "Russian diplomatic activity will take place over the next few weeks. It's likely Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov will meet several parties from the Syrian opposition, some of whose members took part in the first Moscow Forum and some who did not."

Moscow II will take place approximately two months after the first Moscow Forum was held. The first brought together opposition figures, pro-regime loyalists and Kurdish figures. Also present was a low-ranking delegation from the Syrian government headed by Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari.

Those taking part in the talks failed to reach an agreement.

None of the participants even signed the document of principles proposed by Moscow's coordinator of the inter-Syrian dialogue, Vitaly Naumkin.

There has been little public Russian diplomatic activity in the past few weeks regarding the Syrian crisis. Meanwhile, members of the opposition believe all roads to be discussed either in Moscow or Cairo, will end up leading to Geneva.

This article is an edited translation
from our Arabic edition.