Syria diplomacy ‘stuck’

With the plight of thousands of Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe bringing renewed Western attention to the 4-year-old Syrian conflict, prospects for intensified diplomatic efforts to try to resolve the war remain deadlocked after a flurry of recent consultations between Moscow, Washington and Riyadh, diplomats and analysts tell Al-Monitor.

“Nothing is moving; everything is stuck,” UN Syria envoy Steffan de Mistura told an NGO analyst working on regional security issues at a meeting last week, the analyst, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor Sept. 7.

Though the United States, Russia and European Union had hoped to try to build on the momentum of reaching the Iran nuclear deal in July to pursue multiparty diplomacy on a Syria political transition and countering the Islamic State, efforts to persuade the Saudis to let Iran be part of some sort of Syria international contact group have been rebuffed to date by Riyadh.

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This article was written by Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on September 8, 2015. Laura Rozen reports on foreign policy from Washington, DC, for Al-Monitor’s Back Channel.