More than 70 representatives from Western and Arab countries will gather to craft a solution aimed at halting the killing in Syria, after more than a year that has left between 9,000 and 10,000 people dead in a crackdown on dissent by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
But analysts say that although they might aspire to the common goal of stopping the slaughter, their differences on how to get there will hobble a unified vision for the future.
„I have great reservations and much skepticism about what will happen in this conference. It seems to me there is a retreat by the international community with regard to the Syrian crisis,“ Agnes Levallois, a Middle East expert based in Paris, told AFP.
Levallois predicted that the world will prefer to leave it to former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, the envoy for the United Nations and Arab League, to handle the crisis instead of trying to build on his peace plan.
„We will go on saying the Annan plan is the only solution, giving all possible verbal support and trying to break the deadlock with humanitarian aid,“ she added.
Such a policy will play into Assad’s hands, enabling him to buy more time for his regime, she warned.