Many external powers are deeply involved. Despite formal unity behind the six-point plan, mutual mistrust has made them work at cross-purposes. Intentionally or otherwise, they have encouraged the government and parts of the opposition to believe that force is the only option. This serves no one’s interest — least of all that of the Syrian people.
It is time for all who have influence on the parties, and all who bear responsibility for international peace and security, to act positively for peace. With the support of the secretaries general of the United Nations and the Arab League, I have asked participants in Saturday’s meeting to form an action group whose members will work together until peace is achieved.
The participants include those with influence on the Syrian government and its opposition. Members must commit to act in unison to end the bloodshed and implement the six-point plan, avoiding further militarization of the conflict. It is abundantly clear that the violence will not stop without joint, sustained pressure from those with influence, including consequences for noncompliance.