Supporting inclusive dialogue for conflict resolution and peaceful co-existence in Syria

Black and white abstract image of Berghof Foundation Headquarters. Local-level dialogue in Syria can lead to peaceful coexistence. Photo © Eike Walkenhorst

The project supports different Syrian stakeholders to develop ideas and initiatives that contribute to finding peaceful and sustainable solutions to the conflict in Syria.

Timeframe: 2022 - 2024

Believing in the need for Syrian-led and Syrian-owned solutions, the Berghof Foundation supports different Syrian stakeholders in developing ideas and solutions contributing to peace and stability in Syria. The project also supports the outreach of Syrian stakeholders to actors abroad and sets out to contribute to conflict transformation, inclusive governance and peaceful co-existence through local-level dialogue, addressing different conflict sources across Syrian society.


After more than a decade since the war started in 2011, Syria is divided into different zones of influence controlled by various conflict parties and their respective backers. Politics and economic life have become increasingly localised and are strongly shaped by the dynamics of war and conflict. Initiatives attempting to solve the conflict at the national level, such as intra-Syrian peace talks held under the auspices of the United Nations, remain stuck in deadlock and have failed to produce a political solution to end the conflict. Similarly, the Astana talks have provided a platform for Russia, Iran and Turkey to coordinate their respective interests vis-à-vis Syria, but have not led to a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the conflict. Syria has long become a site for geopolitical competition and rivalry, as different foreign powers have each sought to influence and shape the outcome of the conflict in accordance to their interests. Set against this overwhelming external dimension of the conflict, Syrian voices and participation in the decision-making process over the fate of their country have been considerably weakened and undermined. All the while, the Syrian population continues to undergo tremendous suffering and hardship on an every-day level, as the country faces a protracted humanitarian crisis and experienced large-scale destruction as a result of the conflict.

Against this grim reality, continued engagement as well as fresh perspectives supporting Syrian-led and owned efforts and actions are urgently needed as ever before. Building on the results and achievements of our previous work in Syria, the project Supporting inclusive dialogue resolution and peaceful co-existence in Syria supports different Syrian stakeholders, hailing from diverse religious and regional backgrounds, to develop ideas and initiatives aiming to contribute to conflict transformation in Syria. Believing strongly in the principles of Syrian-led and Syrian-owned solutions, our approach takes the complex political reality and the diverse and often conflicting interests of different conflict actors and parties into account, while also putting the needs and priorities of the Syrian people centre-stage.

In this project, we also address different local-level conflict sources that have been affecting and threatening Syrian society through local-level dialogue, contributing to inclusive governance and peaceful co-existence.


The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.



Project lead

Heidi Huuhtanen
Senior Advisor
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Team members

Jan Deeg
Talal Zeidan


Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0) 177 7052758
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