Arab media continues to focus Tuesday on the European efforts to finalize a diplomatic summit in Geneva on the Syrian crisis, amid deep rifts within opposition ranks regarding participation in the talks.
“The Americans assuage the concerns of the Gulf states concerning Geneva 2,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat, featuring a photo of the British and Austrian foreign ministers chatting during an EU meeting on Monday.
Quoting a “knowledgeable Western source,” the daily reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry would like to reassure Gulf Arabs about the Geneva conference, stressing his commitment to the understandings of Geneva 1 (in 2012) and stipulating that a future Syrian government will not include Assad.
“The domestic opposition prepares to participate in ‘Geneva 2′ and the [Opposition] Coalition refuses,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, featuring a photo of two Free Syrian Army soldiers stationed near the central city of Homs.
The article notes that the Opposition Coalition hadn’t yet made up its mind finally about participating, but was opposed to “Russian pressure” on Syria’s domestic opposition to take part.
Meanwhile, Qatari news channel Al-Jazeera reports that “Assad does not see a chance for Geneva 2 to succeed. “There seem to be a number of landmines on the way to Geneva 2, and the talks cannot be held without defusing them,” says the report.
Saudi news site Elaph reports that Ahmad Al-Jarba, head of the Opposition Coalition, is scheduled to meet with Kerry on Tuesday in London, while Russia expressed its anger at what it dubbed “meetings behind the scenes.”
Al-Hayat columnist Ali Al-Abdullah doubts the prudence of holding an international conference on Syria at a time when “the local and regional players do not consider the current atmosphere conducive to such a conference, let alone one able to fulfill its stated objectives.”
“Syria’s crisis averted?” asks A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Tareq Homayed, quoting the headline of a Washington Post op-ed Monday. The answer, according to Homayed (and the Washington Post) is a resounding no.
“The Syrian crisis has not been averted but only continues to grow. Its dangerous become more numerous, as there can be no funeral so long as Assad is not toppled.”
Libyan leader: The Arab Spring was not Islamic
In an interview with A-Sharq Al-Awsat, former chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council — the country’s first post-Qaddafi de facto government — Mustafa Abdul Jalil claims that Arab Spring revolutions were not Islamic in nature, but were taken over by “the organized Muslim Brotherhood.”
The leader adds that the behavior of the Brotherhood in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt made it clear that the movement had no popularity left in these countries.