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In latest peace plans for Syria, Assad can stay

Peace proposals by Russia, the UN secretary-general's special envoy and a European think tank are making news.
Russia Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov (L) and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov prepare for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 25, 2013.  REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini (SWITZERLAND - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX110CN
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A significant number of global and regional players have been forced to reconsider their strategies in Syria with the bloody civil war having morphed into a clash in which the main belligerents are now the most radical jihadists, represented by the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra, and government forces.

Writing Nov. 14 in Foreign Policy, James Traub quotes David Harland, executive director of the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), which operates inside Syria, and his collaborator, Nir Rosen, as saying that “rebel commanders have come to accept that Assad’s departure cannot be a precondition for talks.” Rosen also suggested that the “rebels’ foreign backers, including the Saudis, have begun to reach the same conclusion.” On the basis of his discussion with his interlocutors, Traub contends that President Bashar al-Assad will “not be going any time soon, if at all.”

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