Syria Open To Talks With Rebels, Foreign Minister Says, No Word On Guarantees

Syria Open To Talks With Rebels, Foreign Minister Says, No Word On Guarantees.

Will there be peace coming to the region soon after years of violence? It depends. Syria’s foreign minister said Monday that the country is ready to negotiate with the army opposition trying to topple President Bashar Assad to try and resolve the 2 year old civil war. Walid al-Moallem could not say whether the rebel fighters would lay down arms before the talks could begin which has been a point of contention in the past. The proposal is the first time a high ranking Syrian official has said publicly that the government would meet the opposition fighters. Al-Moallem in Moscow ahead of the talks explained that through dialogue not through violence will reform happen according to the Associated Press. One rebel commander has one condition to the idea of talks which is that Assad and responsible parties for the bloodshed be put on trial. The 23 month old conflict has killed more than 70,000 people and destroyed numerous cities while repeatedly ignoring international efforts to bring the opposing forces together in order to end the bloodshed. Russia, Assad closest ally and chief international advocate, said on Wednesday with the Arab League that they would broker talks between rebels and the government. The proposal shows signs that the regime could be content with the idea of a settlement as it struggles to hold territory and win back ground from the rebels. The Syrian’s rebels have made several advances beyond their stronghold in Damascus including the nation’s largest hydroelectric dam and overtaking northeastern airbases. On Thursday, a huge last near the Baath party headquarters in Damascus killed 53 people according to state media. As of the moment the rebels may have a slight advantage, Assad’s regime still has a firm grip on Damascus and his fall is far from imminent or certain. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeated his call for negotiations to take place between both parties as the situation is at a crossroads and fears the continued fighting could break up the Syrian state. The difficulty in the actual negotiation will be the dozens of armed brigades and groups with no unified command that have fractured from those fighting to topple the regime. The rebels wan the government violence to end and power handed over to the opposition. Both sides have offered up their own requirements and conditions to hold talks to resolve the crisis in the recent weeks. Countries in the region have seen the Syrian conflict and watched  with caution as well as fear as the conflict could spill over into neighboring states. Turkey in particular is most concerned about the fallout since the country has taken in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees and exchanged gunfire with government troops across the border. Meanwhile, the fighting in Syria will continue until both sides can come to an agreement.