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Leverage Justice for Peace in Syria

The Syrian government’s new-found willingness to participate “in principle” in an international conference on the Syrian conflict hosted by Russia and the United States may result in everyone showing up for the talks. But don’t bet the farm on it.

Tough obstacles remain, including preconditions that both sides will insist upon before they walk through the conference room doors in Geneva. For example, the fate of President Bashar al-Assad and his lieutenants, the combat situation, and the status of arms shipments to either government or rebel forces will loom heavily over any final terms of reference for starting the peace talks.