FIRST AIRED: May 17, 2017

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> If global outrage after the Syria chemical attack ramped up the pressure on president Bashar al-Assad, the moment seems to have passed. Syria peace talks opening in Geneva Tuesday with Assad's position looking as secure as ever. Reuters Tom Miles is there.>> The Syrian government says, no ways President Assad gonna leave.
00:00:19
We're happy to do some tinkering and maybe bring some new elements into the wide and Syria's government. But they don't see any reason, any pressure to really shake things up.>> Previous rounds of the peace negotiations have yielded little progress, forcing UN-Syria mediators Staffan de Mistura to deny that the talks have a smoke screen for the six year old war.
00:00:41
Assad's army is still a Ascendant in Syria backed by powerful allies, Russia and Iran. And there's little to counterbalance them apart from one missile strike in response to that chemical attack. U.S president Donald Trump has taken a hands off approach.>> Apart from this one act by the Trump administration to involve itself in a much more aggressive and direct way than the Obama administration ever did.
00:01:07
The US has been largely absent from this. So will they apply their weight to make this process happen? Will they push the process forward and make sure there is some sort of political movement? It's yet to be seen. We just don't know.>> De Mistura on the defensive, says high level diplomacy also goes on back stage.
00:01:25
But Assad himself disagrees. Saying last week, the Geneva talks were just a meeting for the media.