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The threat of the self-described Islamic State group has world powers, including the U.S. and Russia, committed to a blueprint for peace negotiations and a set of principles for Syria's future.
Nations meeting Friday in New York and the U.N. will essentially be negotiating a Russian plan for a "political transition," based on the Syrian government's consent and with no clear reference to President Bashar Assad's departure.
And as they look for a way to secure and enforce a peace that has proved all too elusive since 2011, Russia's recent military intervention appears to be providing the key leverage. As President Barack Obama said earlier this month, rebels who join the process could enjoy "pockets of cease-fire" where they no longer face Syrian or Russian bombs.
The implication was that those who refuse could still be targeted.
In any event, diplomats from East and West say the chances for ending the conflict between Assad's military and moderate rebel forces are better now than they've been for a long while. All speak of seizing the momentum of several groundbreaking meetings in recent months.
There are other signs of progress. The opposition is finalizing the makeup of its delegation for talks with the government that are supposed to start next month. Jordan is close to completing a list of militant groups that could join a unity government, and which, like the Islamic State and al-Qaida, would be declared terrorists and enemies of all.
Still, "very real" gaps remain, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters this week.
For one, the Russian division of "terrorist" vs. legitimate rebel forces differs significantly from that of U.S. and Arab governments, diplomats say. And no agreement can be reached if Russia isn't satisfied.
An even bigger divide concerns Assad himself, with Washington desperate to secure a guarantee that he will eventually leave office in a transition, having abandoned Obama's previous demand that the Syrian leader step down immediately. Russia has spent the last five years blocking any international strategy or U.N. resolution that would show Assad the door.
Can I ask one thing why doesn't the US president attend any kind of meeting like this?
The specific duties of the Secretary of State include:
Organizes and supervises the entire United States Department of State and the United States Foreign Service.
Advises the President on matters relating to U.S. foreign policy, including the appointment of diplomatic representatives to other nations, and on the acceptance or dismissal of representatives from other nations.
Participates in high-level negotiations with other countries, either bilaterally or as part of an international conference or organization, or appoints representatives to do so. This includes the negotiation of international treaties and other agreements.
Responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas.
Providing information and services to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad, including providing credentials in the form of passports and visas.
Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries;
Supervises the United States immigration policy abroad.
Communicates issues relating the United States foreign policy to Congress and to U.S. citizens.
The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties, such as:
Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States
Preparation, sealing, and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees
Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department's seal
Custody of the Great Seal of the United States
Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments
Those of us with common sense can see that the Syria situation is entirely the western coalition's fault and it needs some fresh thinking and leadership.
originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: intrptr
Stalin was russian and is celebrated under Putin who wants to re-establish russia as big as the ussr!
originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: Willtell
Yeah the dictator wins! Ooohoooh! And some misogynist outbreaks!!!!
Awesome OP! Well done you talk like a dick!