British Foreign Minister William Hague and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have met in London this past week to discuss foreign policy objectives, specifically the role their governments will play in the ongoing activity in Syria. The Syrian opposition leadership had also reversed their decision to not participate in planned peace talks in Rome. The switch in stance was likely the result of both Hague and Kerry pledging significantly increased support to the Syrian people.
While the notion of peace talks in a neutral setting are an excellent step in the right direction, the opposition has made it clear that they are expecting results from this summit, suggesting an unwillingness to negotiate. This may set a negative tone even before the plane has landed. It is also not above either side to simply walk out on talks, as both have done it before. What makes this set of talks different is the fact that momentum is building for the rebels as they have two superpowers (and NATO members) in their corner. Whether or not the regime seems to care is another story, although this could prelude more direct and aggressive (military) action by foreign governments. As I mentioned in a previous post, one can only wonder what the world superpowers’ clandestine intelligence community has been up to in Syria over the past two years or so. It’s a bit naive to dismiss the notion of covert involvement, but it is unreasonable to suggest that the U.S. government is not only “assisting” the opposition (interpret that as you see fit), but also actively destabilizing al-Assad’s rule?