Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was voted the 2013 winner of the Chatham House Prize by the think-tank on Wednesday for her work in promoting 'a new era of US diplomatic engagement'.
There has to be a fairly strong military blow that will get rid of the regime or force a crack in it. Otherwise you have a situation that could go on even longer, says David Butter.
The longer Dos Santos remains in power, the more pressure will increase for reform and better state delivery of jobs, education and health care, says Alex Vines.
Western allies are moving toward a position of punishing Mr Assad without necessarily doing anything further to back the rebel opposition, said David Butter.
There may still be doubts whether the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own civilian population; but there is conclusive evidence that it has effectively used the toxic stuff to poison the minds of western policy makers and paralyze the debate over intervention, writes Nadim Shehadi.
The main outstanding issue for Navi Pillay to examine remains the absence of any meaningful steps to address serious abuses by government forces in the final months of the armed conflict, Charu Lata Hogg told AFP.
Relations [between the US and Pakistan] reached their lowest ebb in 2011, but a distinct change in policy from the US, particularly relating to drone strikes, combined with new actors has created a window to improve diplomacy between the two countries, says Xenia Dormandy.
'I don't think it's a particular problem,' said Paola Subacchi when referring to China's economic slowdown. 'Because the slowing, they remove some of the overheating which was a problem in the past.'