The Geneva II Conference on Syria took place on 22 January 2014 in Montreux and on 23–31 January 2014 in Geneva. Shortly before the beginning of the conference in Montreux, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited an Iranian delegation to the conference. According to Ban Ki-moon, Iranian officials assured him that they will support the conclusions of the Geneva I Conference on Syria, which called for a transitional administration to take over power in Syria. But after the invitation, Iranian officials made clear that they were not endorsing that conclusion as a basis for the talks. Consequently, the Syrian National Coalition threatened to leave the talks. The US put immense pressure on Ban Ki-moon to disinvite the Iranian delegation again. Finally, after 24 hours of confusion that dismayed diplomats who have spent months cajoling Assad’s opponents to negotiate, Ban’s spokesman said that Iran was no longer welcome on the initial day of talks at Montreux.
Read also: Frederic C. Hof, “Syria: What Next for Geneva II?“, Atlantic Council, 03.02.2014.
The withdrawn invitation of Iran by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to the Syrian peace summit in Geneva shows us that today’s diplomacy is like a Muppet show or a chess game in which moves are motivated by purposes not always strictly related to the pacific resolution of conflicts. Do we know exactly who are the players moving the chess pieces behind the table, and why? — Miguel Villalba Sanches (Elchicotriste)
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This cartoon was drawn by Miguel Villalba Sanches (Elchicotriste) from Spain, born in Catalonia. After studying clinical psychology in Barcelona he has worked as a psychologist and social educator, but the activity of drawing has always accompanied him. He has personal experience in peace activities, working as a volunteer and coordinator for projects of the NGO Service Civil International. Among the tasks he performed were volunteering in a refugee camp in Obonjan, Croatia in 1994-1995, during the Croatian War of Independence (Source: “Miguel Villalba Sánchez“, MasterPeace, 17.04.2012). For additional cartoons by Elchicotriste check out his page on Cartoon Movement or his Facebook page.
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