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Big Ideas explores whether the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria will succeed in the latest peace attempt to settle the conflict in that country. If so, how?

Lakhdar Brahimi acknowledges that his appeal for a ceasefire in the 19 months of violence has failed.  Although the government of President Bashar al-Assad and some elements of the rebel forces had agreed to a truce for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, fighting continued and opposition forces say the government resumed bombing of rebel positions in all of Syria’s major cities with even greater intensity.

We bring together two Syria experts to explore the options to end the civil war:

Dr. Robert Pastor of American University and a senior fellow at the Carter Center, made a proposal some months ago to senior government officials in Damascus. They indicated they were interested then, but Assad’s military advisers said they could win the war.

We also have with us Dr. Joshua Landis, the director of the Middle East Studies Center and associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Landis is an expert on Syrian affairs and author of the highly regarded Syria Comment blog.

VOA’s Susan Yackee moderated the discussion.

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Middle East Voices is a unique social journalism project powered by Voice of America. The site, as a supplement to, is designed to present news, views and conversation to stimulate dialogue and understanding within, without and across man-made borders. On our platform, among other content, you will finds expert insights and community-submitted viewpoints on pressing political, economic, social and religious issues reshaping the Middle East and our world.

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