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The Long Uncertain Road Back to Geneva

If it happens, the Geneva II Conference on Syria will only be a  start in bringing peace to Syria.
Kofi Annan (R) Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov before a dinner hosted by the Swiss authorities after a meeting of the Action Group for Syria at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva June 30, 2012. REUTERS/Laurent Gillieroni/Pool (SWITZERLAND - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR34EGP

All eyes are now focused on the opening of the Geneva II conference, which Moscow and Washington are trying to convene sometime next month. But it is important for the success of this effort that hopes for Geneva II do not follow the same sorry trajectory as the unrealistic expectations of an Assad defeat.

Geneva I was born in a period defined by widespread, if illusory anticipation of a complete military victory by the opposition. The communique issued by the Action Group on Syria on June 30, 2012, said all the right things. It noted that “Action Group members are committed to the sovereignty, independence, national unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. They are determined to work urgently and intensively to bring about an end to the violence and human rights abuses, and to facilitate the launch of a Syrian-led political process leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future.”

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