Syrian peace negotiations in Geneva end in silence

Syrian peace negotiations in Geneva end in silence
Prospects for peace look as distant as ever as government officials, opposition figures and members of civil society left the UN-led process empty-handed again.
2 min read
26 March, 2022
Geir Pedersen, UN special envoy on Syria, gave a written statement later [Getty]

Syrian peace talks have failed to find a solution to the 11-year civil conflict after warring parties came together in Geneva this week. 

No agreement was reached in efforts to draft a new constitution for the war-torn country, after the five-day dialogue between delegations from the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian negotiations commission ended in silence. 

Neither side gave comments after the talks ended - and a press conference initially scheduled by the UN for the conclusion of the talks was cancelled. 

"I will do everything I can to bring closer viewpoints among the members through exerting my good offices, which is plainly needed," said Geir Pedersen, UN special envoy on Syria in a written statement published later. 

Back in October, the sixth round of discussions between 15 representatives each from President Bashar al-Assad's regime, the opposition, and civil society, also ended with no agreement on how to move forward. 

The tentative negotiations were aimed at re-writing Syria’s constitution and providing an overture to broader political dialogue, under the auspices of the UN-supported Constitutional Committee. 

But the gap between parties at the negotiating table showed no sign of narrowing after two and half years. 

And while Arab regimes across the MENA region consider bringing the Assad regime in from the cold, the need for direct negotiations with the opposition may become far less pressing for Damascus. 

Syria's civil war erupted in 2011 after the violent regime repression of protests. The war has left over half a million people dead, displaced millions, and devastated its infrastructure.