As most Syrian Opposition groups decline Russia's initiative for talks, and while a few groups accept the invitation to Moscow for talks on Syria, a commonsense plan - the Aleppo Freeze, spearheaded by a United Nations(UN) Envoy, is being overlooked.
While the scope of Syrian talks slated to take place in Moscow, January 26, appear limited to just talks on how to arrange future talks with no platform to ending the Syrian war, the Aleppo Freeze - put forward by UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura, is yet the most sensible and realistic initiative in place to bring peace to Syria, apart from direct military action.
The UN's 'freezing the conflict" plan calls for a cessation of hostilities in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as a means to slowing the carnage in the Levant, the Associated Press(AP) reported. With a hold on fighting in Aleppo, de Mistura's plan calls for utilizing the accomplishment as a building block for a larger peace in Syrian and a wider solution to the war. The Aleppo Freeze, if implemented, offers realistic immediate relief from conflict that could be capitalized upon as a specific action to peace.
On the other hand, Bashar al Assad has admitted that the proposed Russian talks his regime would attend, are just talks - talks, to decide the content of future talks with no real immediate relief of peace for the Syrian people, thus prolonging Assad's reign of instability and terror upon the Levant.
To this end, while a few Opposition groups have accepted Moscow's invitation, most Syrian Opposition groups have declined the initiative because the Russian conference does not aim to create a transitional government in Syria with full executive powers - Assad-free. However, the main Opposition groups in Syria could participate in the Russian initiative as a means to publicly reaffirm their demands that Assad cannot be a part of a post-war Syria.
But in lieu of Russian talks to talk of talks for future talks, the Aleppo Freeze emerges as a realistic and a possible start to the peace of Syria in 2015.