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News Analysis: Turkish experts doubt effectiveness of Geneva II conference on Syria

ISTANBUL, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkish security analysts and experts doubted the success of the Geneva II conference slated for Jan. 22 on the Syrian crisis due to conflict of interests, saying a permanent solution could take longer than expected.

"It is not a realistic approach to expect a permanent result out of the Geneva II conference. The conditions in the field have changed the equilibrium in the war," Oytun Orhan, a security analyst at Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"The Syrian government forces are gaining the war on the ground. Under these circumstances it is not rational to tell Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave his post and leave the country, " he said.

Meanwhile, Burak Kuntay, the director of the Institute of Social Sciences at Bahcesehir University, told Xinhua that the civil war in Syria has too many players locally and globally, blocking the way of a possible political solution.

"We can see at one corner Russia, Hezbollah and Iran and at the other corner there are Saudi Arabia and Turkey," he said, adding that all of the players with their conflicting interests have been pushing the political solution into a dead end.

Furthermore, the increased fragmentation of the opposition emerged as an important factor derailing the political solution even more.

"There are Islamists, there are groups backed by al-Qaida, there is the Free Syrian Army. They have their own stances. In addition these groups claim that the Syrian National Coalition ( SNC), the largest opposition umbrella in exile, does not represent them and say that they do not recognize it," Orhan stressed.

The SNC on the other hand repeated its commitment to finding a political solution to the crises in Syria.

In a recent press statement, the coalition said that Geneva II conference would be a positive step, as it would result in the formation of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including security and military apparatuses.

However, head of media office of the SNC, Khalid Saleh, told Xinhua in Istanbul on Tuesday that "The challenge is that the Assad administration has no interest nor did it take any real steps to demonstrate its willingness to hand over powers to the Syrian people."

"As a matter of fact, the government does not accept the basic principals of Geneva conference, which means it does not accept the basic framework to ensure the conference will be successful," he added.

Kuntay said that the real political result can be obtained out of more closed meetings initiated by Russia and the U.S. The important thing is not international conferences but the certainty of U.S. policies, he added.

"The U.S. could not foresee what Syria would be like after Assad. That's why the U.S. could not give clear support to the opposition fearing that pro-al-Qaida or pro-Hezbollah groups could come to the power," Kuntay told.

According to him the uncertainty of U.S. policies would continue until the next election in 2016. "Only after then the U.S. can take concrete steps in Syria," he added.

On the other hand, Turkey is another country that should revise its policies in Syria, Orhan said. "Turkey has to face the reality that there is no more chance for the opposition to take the power, " he said, adding that Turkey was not as powerful as it was at the beginning.

"As you can see no one is ready for the Geneva talks yet," Kuntay concluded.

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