Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic C. Hof writes in the New Republic on the Geneva II peace conference:

In Montreux, Switzerland, 31 foreign ministers (none of them Iranian) will gather Wednesday to inaugurate a conference aimed at putting Syria firmly on the path to political transition. That is the goal, based on the 2012 agreement the upcoming conference is supposed to implement. Two days after ministers have made their speeches, two opposing Syrian delegations are supposed to get down to business in Geneva II. The likelihood of them accomplishing their mission anytime soon is nil. So what is the point?

The agreement is refreshingly straightforward. The Syrian parties’ task is to create, on the basis of mutual consent, a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers. In other words, the regime led by Bashar al-Assad is to be relieved of its duties.

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