According to UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura, talks on ending the civil war in Syria have now officially started, after initial resistance by the country’s main opposition bloc over humanitarian demands.
The Swedish-Italian diplomat said he expected the talks to be “complicated and difficult,” but that Syria’s people deserved to “see something concrete, apart from a long, painful negotiation.”
“The first immediate objective is to make sure the talks continue and that everyone is on board,” de Mistura said.
He could not comment on how long he expected the first round of talks to last, but said he hoped negotiations would “achieve something” by February 11th.
“The duration of the negotiations depends on the willingness and the determination of both sides,” he added.
The opposition bloc insisted that humanitarian aid reach towns under government siege before it would agree to enter indirect talks with Assad’s government, which are scheduled to last six months.The talks are part of the biggest push to date to chart a way out of the tangled Syrian war that has killed more than 260,000 people and forced millions from their homes since the violence began in March 2011.
- Give thanks that the Syrian peace talks have started.
- Pray for all involved in these talks to be willing to listen to each other and to seek the good of Syria and the Syrian people, rather than seeking power and control.
- Pray for those living in the besieged towns across Syria. Pray that aid relief will get through, as promised, and that food, medicine and other supplies will reach those who most need it.
- Pray for an end to the war and violence in Syria, and for hope to be reborn in this nation.
Psalm 46 vs 9 – 10: “He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.’”