What Should We Expect from the Talks on Syria in Astana?

Hits: 1368

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.


CONCLUSION

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.


Originally published on 2017-01-05

Author: Sophie Mangal

Source: Inside Syria

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
Barbarism in Words and Deeds. Barbarism of U.S. Imperial Wars is Unmatched
“What Russia is sponsoring and doing [in Syria] is not counter-terrorism it is barbarism”Samantha Power, US Representative to the United NationsThe US representative to the United Nations, Ambassador ‘Ranting Sam’ Samantha Power, accused the Russian and Syrian governments of ‘barbarism’, claiming Moscow or Damascus had attacked an unarmed United Nations humanitarian convoy delivering aid to civilians in Aleppo.  No evidence was presented.  Rants and threats do not require facts or proof; they only require vehement emotional ejaculations and compliant mass propaganda organs.‘Barbarians’, to be clear, evoke images of leaders and groups, which abjure all civilized norms and laws.  They only ...
READ MORE
Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: Who’s the Fascist?
The U.S. public loves fascists; they elect them, constantly. Donald Trump, who “says he would raise the minimum wage and stop the endless efforts at regime change,” is called a fascist by some.  But Hillary Clinton “is happy to bomb Libya or Syria or any other country,” and played a major role in mass Black incarceration. Barack Obama is the war-maker and deporter-in-chief. “All of the major party candidates fit the F word description in some way.”“No one comes into office with any intention of undoing America’s leadership as the world’s worst jailer.”Donald Trump is the ill spoken, boorish, graceless ...
READ MORE
President of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj, a Kosovo Albanian former guerilla commander who served briefly as prime minister, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the AAK headquarters in Pristina December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is calling for an “impartial investigation” into grisly reports by a European investigative commission alleging that Kosovo government officials were involved in the trade of human organs.­In an exhaustive report released by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in December, it was alleged that Serbian detainees of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were kidnapped and murdered by Kosovo Albanians so their organs could be sold on the black market.The report says the crimes occurred after the Kosovo War ended in 1999.These shocking allegations came on the heels of a two-year investigation into a ...
READ MORE
The Surreal World: Macedonia
Claiming that Macedonians voluntarily chose to rename our country into “North Macedonia” and ethnicity into “North Macedonians” is like saying that Indigenous groups choose to be called “Redskins”. And when Western media attack Macedonians for denouncing the forced name change, it would be akin to them attacking Indigenous groups for denouncing anti-Indigenous terms.Welcome to The Surreal World: Macedonia.Yes, Macedonians get attacked for denouncing the derogatory terms used against us. Why? Because the United States says so. And they fund media and so-called “think tanks” to do the same. These same groups accuse Macedonians of the exact tactics that are being ...
READ MORE
How a Single Remark Stole a Lithuanian Writer’s Livelihood
The title page of Rūta Vanagaitė’s best-known book contains two pictures of young men. “This one is a Jew,” she said, pointing at the picture on the left. “He was a bicycle-racing champion. Good enough to represent Lithuania in international competitions, but not good enough to live.” He was executed during the Holocaust. The man in the picture on the right was a Lithuanian executioner. “They are both us,” Vanagaitė explained. “But Lithuanians don’t like to think of them as ‘us,’ because one is a Jew and the other is a killer.” Her book is called “Us.” (The title has ...
READ MORE
Historical Development of Ukrainian Territorial Imperialism – A Map
A map of historical spreading of the Ukrainian territorial imperialistic project. A nation which occupied and annexed parts of ethnohistorical lands of all its neighbors. A historical map of evidence:Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]A Crimea census of 1926 (done by anti-Russian USSR's authorities): ...
READ MORE
NATO’s War against Yugoslavia was Based on Lies
Germany joined the war against Yugoslavia under the pretense of fabricated facts. Sensational confession of German policeman Henning Hentz who served in the OSCE in Kosovo in the 90s confirmed that.The reason here is that photographs taken by Hentz in late January 1999 were used by then German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping to justify the immediate interference of NATO in the Kosovo conflict. He presented the photographs of the militants killed in Rugovo as photos of innocent Albanian victims.What did really happen in Kosovo in late January of 1999, several months before NATO launched its operation against Yugoslavia?According to Serbian ...
READ MORE
USA & Islamists in Balkans in Coalition Again
SERBIAN SETTLEMENT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BEGAN IN THE SEVENTH CENTURY A.D.Note: Croats settled much later and in insignificant numbers. That is why they are not mentioned much in the literature.THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE VII PORPHYROGENITUS (reigned 913-957) REFERRED TO BOSNIA AS PART OF *THE LAND OF THE SERBS*.BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA… THE LARGEST SINGLE NATIONAL ELEMENT IS THE ORTHODOX SERBS, followed by Moslem Slavs (few of whom can trace their origin to Turkish colonists) and Catholic Croats……The republics of Croatia and Slovenia are predominantly Roman Catholic, while the republics of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA (!!!) are predominantly ORTHODOXIn the ’90-ies Alija Izetbegovic, former SS ...
READ MORE
When will the Israeli Left Accept the Occupation Started in ’48, not ’67?
One of the negative characteristics of the Israeli “Left” is how it terms the military rule over the West Bank and Gaza “The Occupation.” Part of the Left even accuses Palestinians who claim there is no difference between Petah Tikva and Ariel of being like the Right, because “that’s what the Israeli Right claims.” For most Palestinians, however, this exaggerated and Orwellian talk of “The Occupation” blurs Israel’s real shame, and the skeleton buried deep in the closet: The brutal and criminal occupation of 1948.Ethnic cleansing and massive land expropriation, and then settlement of that land, are the mother of ...
READ MORE
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian land Its very name comes from the Serbian word "kos," meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, "Kosova," means nothing whatsoever. Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs - which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in ...
READ MORE
Syria, the United Nations, and the  Slobodan Milosevic Treatment
It’s long been obvious the United Nations is a rubber stamp lapdog of the United States. It set the stage for a decade of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and piled sanctions of Libya that resulted in the US and NATO (another lapdog) taking military action that killed around 30,000 Libyans. Now that supposedly august body has signaled it will investigate war crimes in Syria. The Associated Press reports the “resolution adopted by the assembly said the body, known as the ‘International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism,’ would help collect and analyze evidence of violations of human rights and international ...
READ MORE
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Just as the Republican convention demonized Hillary (“Lock Her Up”), so the Democrats are demonizing Donald Trump. They refuse to support any policy that he backs, even when he says something progressive.One might think that at least Bernie’s supporters would applaud Trump’s left-wing transformation of the old conservative, pro-corporate neocon Cheney-Bush core of the Republican Party. But nobody had a single good word to say about Trump’s assertions that he would wind down confrontation with Russia, reduce military spending on the grounds that NATO is obsolete, and oppose the TPP and TTIP as well as rewrite NAFTA’s terms.The Democrats are ...
READ MORE
Crimea: Was it Seized by Russia, or did Russia Block its Seizure by the U.S.?
Both before and after Crimea left Ukraine and joined Russia in a public referendum on 16 March 2014, the Gallup Organization polled Crimeans on behalf of the U.S. Government, and found them to be extremely pro-Russian and anti-American, and also anti-Ukrainian. (Neither poll was subsequently publicized, because the results of each were the opposite of what the sponsor had wished.) Both polls were done on behalf of the U.S. Government, in order to find Crimeans’ attitudes toward the United States and toward Russia, and also toward Ukraine, not only before but also after the planned U.S. coup in Ukraine, which occurred ...
READ MORE
Declassified Documents Reveal Pentagon’s 1950s Planned Nuclear Holocaust
GR Editor’s Note Publicly available military documents confirm that pre-emptive nuclear war is still on the drawing board  of the Pentagon. Compared to the 1950s, the nuclear weapons are more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for pre-emptive nuclear war.   Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books. Should we be concerned?  Blowing up the planet through the use of nuclear weapons is fully endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons ...
READ MORE
Vietnam War Atrocities Committed by the US Army
Atrocities and war crimes are subjectively defined as acts of violence that exceed military necessity. All war includes atrocities. The stress of combat includes a build up of emotion during action that leads to vicious attacks on the enemy when the opportunity arises. American military units are trained and indoctrinated to avoid inhuman treatment of enemy combatants. Soldiers who violate the norms are prosecuted. This reduces but does not eliminate the problem.Photo of Vietnamese civilians killed by an American unit Atrocities During the Vietnam War The actions of armies in war have seldom been as humane as the modern American military -- ...
READ MORE
Ukraine’s State-Sponsored “Azov Battalion” Expands Use of Nazi-Inspired Symbols
On September 22, Ukraine’s Azov Battalion had a ceremony honoring its fighters who were killed in combat in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass regions. It is natural for any military unit to honor its dead. But it is evident from the images on Azov’s own website that this ceremony used iconography that is disturbingly reminiscent of the 1930s Nuremberg rallies, including the use of searchlights, the banners with Waffen-SS stylized logos and the flames. The background of Azov, its leadership, its recruitment and emblems are all deeply disturbing. It grew out of the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), a group of far right and neo-Nazi organizations ...
READ MORE
US, UK, & EU, are Now Dictatorships
How can it be that in virtually all of the Presidential-candidate head-to-head Democratic versus Republican polling that was done of both Democratic and Republican candidates during the primaries, the preferred Democratic candidate against any one of the Republican candidates was Bernie Sanders, but he almost certainly won’t be that Party’s nominee (and there’s more on that here); and the preferred Republican candidate against either one of the Democratic candidates was John Kasich, but he certainly won’t be the Republican nominee?Sanders and Kasich also scored the highest in his respective Party for net favorability rating, but almost certainly neither candidate will ...
READ MORE
US Imperialism Wages Permanent Warfare to Prevent its Inevitable Collapse
The US has always been a warfare state. However, the character of US imperialist warfare has changed dramatically. For over two centuries, the US regime’s purpose for war, whether on indigenous peoples, Black people, or nations all over the world, was to expand the productive forces of capitalist exploitation. War preceded the vast profits accumulated from chattel slavery, land grab, and resource extraction in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The foundation of white supremacy and capitalism allowed the US regime to consolidate its expansion despite episodes of periodic crisis. Recent events, alongside a steady fall in the rate of capitalist profit, indicate ...
READ MORE
Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia
The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.Among the possibilities:Protracted uncertainty about the presidential contest. Think Florida 2000 but with several states’ results unresolved for weeks or even months (“Experts held ‘war games’ on the Trump vs. Biden election. Their finding? Brace for a mess”);A disputed outcome, perhaps with Donald Trump and Joe Biden both claiming victory, compounded by a “blue shift,” where states are claimed by Trump on election night but flip over to Biden as additional absentee and mail-in ballots conveniently turn up days or weeks later;Violent civil conflict, spurred on in the ...
READ MORE
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Could Donald Trump already be the worst of all American presidents?  In less than two years his record on the world scene has been frightening enough: U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accords, scuttling of the Iran nuclear treaty, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, unjustifiably punitive sanctions against Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, terror bombing of Mosul and other Iraq cities, bombastic threats against friends and enemies alike – not to mention a $54 billion gift to the Pentagon and stepped-up nuclear “modernization”.  Hard to imagine much worse. One article of faith among liberals and the corporate media is that ...
READ MORE
Barbarism in Words and Deeds. Barbarism of U.S. Imperial Wars is Unmatched
Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: Who’s the Fascist?
Russia Calls for Investigation into Human-Organ Trade Ring in Kosovo
The Surreal World: Macedonia
How a Single Remark Stole a Lithuanian Writer’s Livelihood
Historical Development of Ukrainian Territorial Imperialism – A Map
NATO’s War against Yugoslavia was Based on Lies
USA & Islamists in Balkans in Coalition Again
When will the Israeli Left Accept the Occupation Started in ’48, not ’67?
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
Syria, the United Nations, and the Slobodan Milosevic Treatment
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Crimea: Was it Seized by Russia, or did Russia Block its Seizure by the U.S.?
Declassified Documents Reveal Pentagon’s 1950s Planned Nuclear Holocaust
Vietnam War Atrocities Committed by the US Army
Ukraine’s State-Sponsored “Azov Battalion” Expands Use of Nazi-Inspired Symbols
US, UK, & EU, are Now Dictatorships
US Imperialism Wages Permanent Warfare to Prevent its Inevitable Collapse
Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share