After a lengthy pause in the series of Syrian peace talks held in Astana, Kazakhstan, this week’s round — the ninth — wasn’t expected to produce any breakthroughs. Yet the very fact that the talks happened at all can be seen as a success given that until the last moment no one knew if the Syrian opposition would even participate.
The next round of talks, set for July, will take place in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi — an idea vehemently opposed by the militant opposition. Opposition representative Yasser Abdul Raheem said he will not attend because Russian forces supporting the regime continue to kill Syrians. He said Russia must adjust its priorities in the civil war.