The talks held in Saudi Arabia for many of the players in the Syrian crisis were a "reach out by Riyadh" but nevertheless represents a weak foundation for future diplomatic discussions to resolve the crisis, Theodore Karasik, UAE-based geopolitical advisor, told Sputnik.
Saudi Arabia invited 116 representatives from political and militant groups in Syria to its two-day conference in Riyadh, but some of them had ties to extremist groups, said Karasik.
"Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar have been assisting some of the extremist groups on the ground in Syria. This Riyadh conference was to try to level the playing field, so that Qatar and Saudi Arabia are able to voice or showcase the groups that they have been supporting."
Despite such concerns, Karasik noted the presence of many different groups at the conference, which could lay some foundation for negotiations.
"The Syrian National Congress was there, which is a prominent opposition group, but also was the Damascus-based Syrian National Coordination Body which represents President Assad."
"Many of the groups that are represented at this conference, they tend to switch allegiances frequently based on where they are located in Syria … depending on the terror group or terror state that is operating in that region."
"This is a big question that any other future diplomatic conference is going to have to deal with, and it seems that at the Riyadh conference, the Saudis did not want to deal with the Kurdish issue."
The various Kurdish factions operating in Syria need to voice their opinions about the possible future federal structure of Syria, said Karasik. In addition, the roles of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which fights Daesh but also attacks Turkey, and the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government, also need to be resolved.