MADRID – The Geneva II Middle East peace conference, to be held on January 22, will take place against a backdrop of singularly appalling numbers: Syria’s brutal civil has left an estimated 130,000 dead, 2.3 million refugees registered in neighboring countries, and some four million more internally displaced.
The stakes at the conference are thus exceptionally high, both for Syria and for its neighbors, which are straining against severe destabilization. Lebanon has taken in more than 800,000 Syrian refugees. Jordan and Turkey have more than a half-million each. Iraq has received more than 200,000, and Egypt has nearly 150,000. These figures, a result of three years of civil war, are simply inacceptable.