At the beginning of March 2017, it will be exactly six years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. Some journalists even make unfavorable forecasts wondering about the very possibility of reconciliation. Complicated by the foreign intervention on the part of Israel war in Lebanon, for example, had been for about 15 years. But even a six-year term it is too long.
That is why we may hope that the meeting in Astana scheduled on January 23 will eventually lead to a positive result. And then there will be an occasion to consolidate the success of the negotiations in Geneva under the auspices of the UN. So what the negotiations in Astana may lead to?
THE LATEST STATEMENTS OF THE MAIN ACTORS
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev backed the initiative to conduct the negotiations and announced its readiness to provide a platform and to support unconditional assistance to the peace process.
Syrian President Bashar al Assad considers the possibility of reaching the agreement on the Syrian crisis settlement and is ready to discuss with the anti-government forces any questions regarding fixing the conflict up to the referendum on the new constitution of Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that it is possible to give birth to the idea of Syrian-Syrian talks in Astana and that a nationwide cease-fire will be signed as a result. Then practical negotiations on a political reconciliation might be launched.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expresses concerns about the violations of the ceasefire agreement because the talks planned could not take place as a result of that. Therefore Russia and Turkey are working on the issue of implementing sanctions against those violating the ceasefire.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura also said at the briefing that the meeting in Kazakhstan is very important and depends on the truce observance in Syria. The UN expects that Russia and Turkey will influence the parties of the conflict to stop violence. The UN guess to have positive results which might be used in Geneva talks scheduled on February 8.
Some opposition members expressed strange attitude. They have repeatedly stated about the termination of the preparations for the meeting despite their commitments to form a delegation for the talks with the Syrian authorities in Astana.
So it’s strange in this context to hear the words of John Kirby, the press secretary of the US State Department. The United States won’t object if the UN secretary general’s special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura abandon the meeting on Syria in Astana. It turns out in fact the U.S. opposes UN involvement and tries to distance from the talks, isn’t it? It may benefit the meeting’s participants. The cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran without the US has proved its effectiveness: more than 100,000 people were evacuated from Aleppo during the largest humanitarian campaign in history.
REASONS WHY ASTANA COULD WORK OUT
First, Ala’a Arafat, a member from the Change and Liberation Front opposition party, expected commitment from the parties involved in the current cease-fire, despite breaches each side accuses the other for. According to CCTV, he pointed out that the recent deal was concluded between Russia and Turkey only, excluding the U.S. and other regional players, such as Gulf States, at least for now, which means two of the most influential powers from each party of the conflict are directly involved.
The absence of the U.S. involvement in the deal will have a positive impact because Americans and Europeans were behind the failure of previous deals, either directly or indirectly. And the current Turkish-Russian agreement seems better than the one struck between Russia and the United States late last year, Arafat said, noting that the U.S.-Russian deal was criticized by the U.S.-led strike on Syria’s army posts in Deir al-Zour last September, killing over 90 Syrian soldiers, enabling IS to benefit from the Syrian army’s losses.
Second, it’s also worth noting that Russia and Turkey named themselves as “guarantors” of the cease-fire, and stated that the next step will be holding talks in Astana. Both pledged to monitor the deal and prevent any potential breach, which translated into a strong guarantee for both the government and the opposition forces.
Third, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said last week that the cease-fire is a potential starting point for a political process, speaking highly of the chances of success, due to what he called the “strong guarantees” from Moscow. The opposition rebels hold the same view, as they have unwavering trust in Ankara due to Turkey’s support of the rebels in Syria which was crucial for their survival when facing the Russian-backed administration of President Bashar al-Assad.
Forth, in the new talks, armed factions are going to be present and they agree on the political negotiations. The main obstacle was the representation of the opposition groups, particularly the Saudi-backed Higher Negotiations Committee, which played an “obstructionist role,” seen by many as an adamant stance, demanding the departure of Assad as a prerequisite to any negotiations, which of course was the stance of the supporters.
Although Russia and Turkey seek different goals in the Syrian conflict but the sides were able to broker. The large-scale operation of evacuating militants from Aleppo, the successful cooperation between the two sides may hold on. Moreover, on January 9, 2017, the Turkey will witness the start of consultations between Iranian, Russian and Turkish diplomats held to discuss the Astana meeting.
Thus, the Astana meeting is highly demanded, and it has to be expanded. A road map of regulating the Syrian crisis in short terms. It could envisage the form of power transition and the date of the referendum on Constitution, and amnesty for the opposition. Moreover, the full ceasefire agreement is expected to be fully implemented during the meeting in Astana. The sides should also draft the further peace process and the issues to be discussed in Geneva.
The Astana talks could be a historic chance to end the crisis and should succeed.
By Sophie Mangal
Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
Here we go again. In yet another Pentagon precision strike, a residential building in Achin district of Nangarhar province was hit as a crowd welcomed home a tribal leader returning from the Hajj.
At least 13 civilians were turned into «collateral damage». The Pentagon of course does not «discuss the details of counter-terror operations», but it’s «currently reviewing all materials related to this strike».
Nothing obviously will come out of it – adding the civilian dead to the non-stop mounting toll of Operation Enduring Freedom (Forever).
Someone that actually is bound to endure his freedom in full splendor is former warlord, head of ...
How many people have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia? On Nov. 18, a UN press briefing on the war in Yemen declared authoritatively that it had so far killed 5,700 people, including 830 women and children. But how precise are these figures, what are they based on, and what relation are they likely to bear to the true numbers of people killed?
Throughout the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, the media has cited UN updates comparing numbers of Afghans killed by “coalition forces” and the “Taliban.” Following the U.S. escalation of the war in 2009 and 2010, a report by McClatchy in ...
Seventy-seven million people in North and South Korea find themselves directly in the line of fire from the threat of a Second Korean War. The rest of the world is recoiling in horror from the scale of civilian casualties such a war would cause and the unthinkable prospect that either side might actually use nuclear weapons.
Since the first Korean War killed at least 20 percent of North Korea’s population and left the country in ruins, the U.S. has repeatedly failed to follow through on diplomacy to establish a lasting peace in Korea and has instead kept reverting to illegal and terrifying threats ...
The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website.
The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website.
The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors.
The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website.
The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet ...
America is coming to the rescue of Al Qaeda under a humanitarian mandate. The unspoken agenda is to undermine the Liberation of Aleppo.
The pretext and justification for these actions are based on America’s “responsibility to protect” (R2P) the “moderates” in Aleppo from Syrian and Russian attacks and bombing raids.
On October 3, the US State Department announced the suspension of bilateral relations with Russia pertaining to Syria (see document below), in response to which, France’s foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault was called upon to intermediate at the diplomatic level.
Pointing his finger at Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Jean Marc Ayrault casually accused Moscow ...
The following text was presented at the International Conference on “9/11 Revisited – Seeking the Truth”, Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Kuala Lumpur, November 2012
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history, a decisive watershed, a breaking point.
Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.
September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society. The post September 11, 2001 era is marked by the outright criminalization of the US State, including its judicial, foreign policy, national security and intelligence apparatus.
9/11 marks the onslaught of ...
Presidents, Prime Ministers, Congressmen, Generals, Soldiers and Police ADMIT to False Flag Terror
In the following instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admit to it, either orally, in writing, or through photographs or videos:
(1) Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria.
This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasionsadmitted their part in the ...
Last week, the Turkish Armed Forces entered Afrin in Syria’s Aleppo. According to the Syria-based Kurdish Hawar News Agency, Turkey also intends to deploy troops near the Raju area and place its armored vehicles there.
Many Syrian experts believe that Ankara cooperates with the U.S.-backed Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki. Earlier, Spokesman of the armed opposition group Abdulsalam Adbulrazaq reported that Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki had reached an agreement with the Turkish troops over the deployment of Turkish soldiers at monitoring positions in Western Aleppo.
According to preliminary estimates, Turkey will provide opposition militants with all necessary weapons, and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki ...
Government propaganda and NGO misinformation have coloured the story of the war on Syria from its inception. Stepping in to set the record straight, Dr. Tim Anderson explores the real beginnings of the conflict, the players behind it, and their agenda in his new book, “The Dirty War on Syria: Washington, Regime Change and Resistance.”
The Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking ‘regime change’ the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of ‘Islamists’, demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In ...
A blast caused by a suicide car bombing hit the centre of Ankara on Sunday evening (March 13th, 2016) resulting in over a hundred casualties. The Turkish authorities were very quick to announce the identity of the suicide person: A Kurdish woman in close relation with the Kurdistan Workers Party. Nevertheless, this terror act in Ankara once again opened the “Kurdish Question” which is in direct connection with the question of Kurdistan’s independence and terrorism as the political instrument in the realization of the national projects and ultimate goals.
There are many the so-called “stateless nations” or better to say “stateless ...
A newly-released Hilary Clinton email confirmed that the Obama administration has deliberately provoked the civil war in Syria as the “best way to help Israel.”
In an indication of her murderous and psychopathic nature, Clinton also wrote that it was the “right thing” to personally threaten Bashar Assad’s family with death.
In the email, released by Wikileaks, then Secretary of State Clinton says that the “best way to help Israel” is to “use force” in Syria to overthrow the government.
The document was one of many unclassified by the US Department of State under case number F-2014-20439, Doc No. C05794498, following the uproar ...
I was 23-years-old the first time I was arrested. It was at the Pentagon— an act of civil disobedience in protest of the U.S. war on Vietnam. My boyfriend, Jerry Rubin, and I were organizers for the National Mobilization Committee Against the War (familiarly called The Mobe).
Here we call it the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese more accurately call it the American War. After all, the U.S. was the aggressor. It was our troops that landed on their soil; our planes that bombed their cities and sprayed Agent Orange; our army massacred their civilians, women and children included. Not the other ...
In Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (Metropolitan Books. New York. 2013), Turse writes that the US military’s official position, and the popular understanding in the US, is that leadership “has never condoned wanton killing or disregard for human life.” (2) On the rare occasions when atrocities are brought to light, they are blamed on low-level individuals and are said to be aberrations having nothing to do with official policy. The My Lai massacre, for example, was blamed on Lieutenant William Calley, who is said to have gone “crazy” (4,5) – although he and his unit ...
Barack Obama is the first two-term American president to have presided over war every day of his tenure in office. He bequeaths to a Trump administration ongoing operations in Afghanistan, continuing drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, the consequences of the 2011 destruction of Libya, the instigation of civil war in Syria, US sponsorship of the brutal Saudi interventions in Yemen, and the civil conflicts in Ukraine, the Caucuses and across Africa.
Obama’s blood-soaked legacy, however, is most graphic in Iraq. There is a bitter irony in this, given the fact that he was elected in 2008 largely on the basis of ...
Despite claims made during NATO Summit Warsaw 2016, that “NATO remains a fundamental source of security for our people, and stability for the wider world,” it is clear that the threats and challenges NATO poses as existing to confront are in fact threats of its own, intentional creation and continued perpetuation.
From the ongoing refugee crisis triggered by NATO’s own global-spanning and ongoing military interventions, invasions, and occupations, to its continued expansion along Russia’s borders – violating every convention and “norm” that existed during the Cold War to keep it “cold,” NATO has proven that it is to the populations it poses as protector over, ...
On December 22 last year the government of Syria regained control of the city of Aleppo that had been occupied by brutal rebel forces since 2012. As reported by the BBC, «The predominantly Sunni Muslim opposition is made of several rebel groups, many of whom have received financial aid from key opponents of President Assad, including the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey».
Following defeat of the US-supported insurgents, «Under a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia, convoys of buses and cars have shuttled thousands of civilians and fighters out of Aleppo's last rebel-held pocket toward opposition areas outside the city», and peace was restored, much to the ...
What must the world think watching the US presidential campaign? Over time US political campaigns have become more unreal and less related to voters’ concerns, but the current one is so unreal as to be absurd.
The offshoring of American jobs by global corporations and the deregulation of the US financial system have resulted in American economic failure. One might think that this would be an issue in a presidential campaign.
The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony is driving the US and its vassals into conflict with Russia and China. The risks of nuclear war are higher than at any previous ...
It is not a secret that the American government has been supporting terrorist groups during the entire Syrian conflict. One of these days, another fact proving this statement was recorded.
On September 20, Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) militants with their allies launched an offensive on the Syrian Arab Army positions, north-east of Hama city, The National reported.
Most likely, the attack of the militants was orchestrated by the U.S. intelligence agencies, which had provided them with the information on the locations and the military strength in the region.
It is also reported that the militants' main object was the units of the Russian ...
Is it a coincidence?
In recent history, from the Vietnam war to the present, the month of March has been chosen by Pentagon and NATO military planners as the “best month” to go to war.
With the exception of the War on Afghanistan (October 2001) and the 1990-91 Gulf War, all major US-NATO and allied led military operations over a period of more than half a century –since the invasion of Vietnam by US ground forces on March 8, 1965– have been initiated in the month of March.
The Ides of March (Idus Martiae) is a day in the Roman calendar which broadly ...
On February 5, Military Times published a report stating that Washington has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The investigation reveals that in Afghanistan in 2016 alone, the U.S. air force carried out at least 456 bombings. The open-source report published by the Air Force Command doesn’t include these figures.
According to the Military Times, the information was obtained from “Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups” and it shows that much of what the Pentagon has disclosed may be misleading or simply ...
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
How Many People have been Killed in US Wars?
America’s Renegade Warfare
The Biggest Criminals in Global Politics
Air Strikes against Syria: Who are the War Criminals? Who is Supporting Al Qaeda? Russia or America?
September 11, 2001: The Crimes of War Committed “In the Name of 9/11″
False Flag Terror: A Historical Overview
Syria: Should Turkey Trust the U.S. Gangsters?
Video: The Dirty War on Syria – Prof. Tim Anderson on GRTV
The Kurds, Terrorism And Kurdistan
Clinton: Destroy Syria for Israel
A Look at “Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam”
Mosul, Iraq and Obama’s Legacy of War
NATO: Lying All the Way to Barbarossa
Washington Leads the World to War
U.S. is not Ready for the End of War in Syria
The Pentagon’s “Ides of March”: Best Month to Go to War
U.S. Conceals Thousands of Airstrikes in Middle East