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Is this high school? The angsty cliques making Syria’s peace talks a nightmare

Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn
Behave yourselves.
  • Aamna Mohdin
By Aamna Mohdin


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Like a teenager who has been invited to a party and thinks, ”Well, I’m not going if they are,” the United Nations has found itself immersed in high school-esque angst while pushing for a diplomatic solution to the devastating Syrian war.

All sides are supposed to meet in Geneva to thrash out a peaceful resolution, but the UN has been forced to placate many opposing factions squabbling over the guest list and who has to sit near whom. As a result, the talks, which were meant to begin on Jan. 25, have now been delayed to Jan. 29.

The UN has yet to give an official confirmation of who is to attend, claiming the information is too sensitive, but here are some of rival gangs staring at each other across the cafeteria during the lunch break:

The rival factions will not initially meet face to face. The talks will reportedly be held in different rooms at the UN’s headquarters in Geneva. Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria—its third—will instead “shuffle between them.”

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