After years of devastating conflict in Syria, building foundations for peace is a long-term process that necessitates work on multiple phases and layers of conflict. Recognizing the early stage of peace-making, the Berghof Foundation focuses on initial steps of stabilization, helping to think of alternative solutions, which can pave way for de-escalation.
Believing strongly in the need for Syrian-led solutions and national ownership, together with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland we provide support to an independent group of experts working with all Syrian sides of the conflict. The initiative supports the parties’ in developing ideas for pragmatic political steps, which can increase well-being and security of all Syrian citizens equally.
Since its beginning in 2011, the devastating conflict in Syria has changed its nature and characteristics. Since 2017, ceasefire negotiations in Astana brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran have added some new momentum, opportunities but also challenges to the peace process. Efforts to stabilize the situation on the ground could allow for improved humanitarian access and might offer some breathing space for a new round of negotiations.
The Berghof Foundation supports a group of independent experts in their efforts to provide opportunities for Syrian-led discussions and bridge international, regional and local discussions on Syria. The group combines diplomatic, military and conflict resolution expertise and aims at supporting new perspectives and interim steps that could help de-escalating the conflict and improving lives of citizens in conflict.
These new efforts complement past activities of the Berghof Foundation that focused at enhancing the capacities of key stakeholders to play a constructive and efficient role in a peaceful transformation of the Syrian conflict. We acknowledge that a more inclusive Syrian and regional process is needed and believe that the conflict in Syria can only be solved through joint national, regional and international efforts. These efforts have to combine interim stabilization steps with a range of inclusive discussions that addresses needs and concerns of all Syrian stakeholders.
The expert group is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland and the Berghof Foundation.