Syria | Peace Talks Delayed Again as Civil War Rages On; Another Attempt at Peace
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- Peace Talks Delayed Again as Civil War Rages On; Another Attempt at Peace
Peace Talks Delayed Again as Civil War Rages On; Another Attempt at Peace
The latest attempt at peace talks for Syria, mediated by the United Nations, began in Geneva on Feb. 1, 2016. The talks started the day after a suicide attack in Damascus killed more than 70 people. ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the attack, was not invited to the talks. Members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government traveled to Geneva to participate along with major opposition groups.
However, two days later, the U.N. decided to suspend the talks, citing that there was more work to be done by everyone involved before progress can be made. During the press conference announcing the suspension, U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said, "I have concluded, frankly, that after the first week of preparatory talks there is more work to be done, not only by us but by the stakeholders. I'm not prepared to have talks for the sake of talks." He also said that peace talks would resume by Feb. 25.
At a donor conference in London on Feb. 4, 2016, several countries came together to donate more than $10 billion in aid to Syria. The countries contributing include the United States, Germany, Norway, and Kuwait. The money would go toward helping the millions of people who have been forced to flee Syria because of the civil war.
The Syrian government and the opposition reached a truce agreement on Feb. 22, 2016. Under the terms of the deal, which was brokered by the United States and Russia, both sides agreed to a "cessation of hostilities," government-led forces will end their siege of rebel-held towns, and humanitarian aid will be delivered to those cities, which had been cut off from delivery of food and medicine. The Islamic State and the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate based in Syria, were not part of the truce. They are two most extremist groups involved in the 5-year-long civil war. Few were optimistic the deal would hold.