US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are in talks following the apparent commitment by Syria to surrender its chemical weapons. It is day two of the talks.
The talks in Geneva include UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi as all parties look for a broad solution to the Syrian crisis -- one that may bring peace to the country, if that is possible.
Friday the BBC reports from the meeting: "Calling the meeting constructive, Mr Kerry said they planned to meet again on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later in the month to try and set a date for the so-called Geneva 2 conference. John Kerry said he was serious about ''meaningful'' negotiations to resolve the crisis in Syria. Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov will continue their talks on finding common ground on the question of bringing Syria's chemical weapons under international control, which could continue over the weekend. After their first meeting, on Thursday, the two men said they hoped to avoid the threat of US military action against Syria."
There are many parties willing to claim that their actions led to this scenario. President Obama, in the US, believes it was the threat of military strikes but others believe the fact that few countries have the stomach, money or support of their people to begin what could escalate into a global conflict had the necessary impact.
In truth the spin and propaganda does not matter unless you are a politician trying to gain political advantage or save face in what has been a turbulent week in politics. For the Syrian people the end game and its outcome is all important.
Reaching a US Russian agreement on Syria will not be easy. Both sides view the Syrian civll war in a different light. Both sides no doubt have their own agenda and vision for the future of the middle east.
The rebels, called the Free Syrian Army by the US and its western allies, remain a rag taggle group of insurgents in the eyes of the Russians. Plenty of ordinary citizens in the west will agree with the Russain viewpoint of the FSA. The Assad opposition is fractured and breakaway groups are fighting for their own agendas.
Reports of another chemical attack Thursday will meet with skepticism.
Pundits predicted that the rebels would launch more chemical attacks in order to point the finger at the Assad regime and spur the US on to launch military strikes.
History is littered with conspiracy theories about US involvement in wars. If you support the theorists it is not only Iraq that turned out to be a "phoney war" but 9/11 and even WW11. Check out wikipedia for a fairly full list.
Diplomatic measures are still running their course but the latest from President Assad is that he will "give up chemical weapons once the US stops arming rebels." -- Haaretz " Assad is quoted as saying "When we see the United States really wants stability in our region and stops threatening, striving to attack, and also ceases arms deliveries to terrorists, then we will believe that the necessary processes can be finalized."