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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Russia and USA close positions on Syria

After more than 12 hours of negotiations, Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry marked the rapprochement between Russia and USA on Syria. The parties were encouraged to review the ceasefire agreement, reaffirmed commitment to the territorial integrity of the country and expressed a common point of view on the Kurds. Experts note that this inspires some optimism.

Following talks between foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry on Syria, both sides reiterated the convergence. “The fact that we do not distribute documents, does not mean that we do not find more and more points of contact,” — said the Russian Minister. Recall, the meeting started on Friday evening in Geneva and continued intermittently for more than 12 hours. Later, had joined the talks team of the special envoy of the UN Secretary General to Syria Staffan de Mistura, told the media.

“The main thing is the settlement of the crisis, and it is only possible if there is goodwill on both sides — US and Russia”

The result is John Kerry called for a review of the ceasefire agreement in Syria. “The ceasefire (in Syria) was valuable, but, as we have seen, its violations have become the norm, not the exception,” he said. “The majority of Syrians even today do not know that there was an agreement on a cease-fire. For the most part it remained on paper. This agreement should be revised to ensure that it can achieve the goal of reducing violence,” said the American diplomat. However, he said: “We will not be too hasty with the agreement as long as it does not fully meet the needs of the Syrian people and the international community’s capacity to solve these problems” – said Kerry.

“Disengagement is a healthy opposition and terrorists”

Sergei Lavrov added that he sees opportunities to ensure a sustainable cease-fire without a clear “demarcation of the healthy opposition forces and terrorists.” Agreed with him and Kerry: “dzhebhat an-Nusra (now called jabhat al Fattah al-sham” – approx. OPINION) was never part of the agreement on a ceasefire… This is al Qaeda, and no name change “dzhebhat an – Nusra” do not hide what makes “al-Nusra” and what is he trying to do,” he added.

According to Kerry, to separate the Syrian opposition and terrorists is possible, but “in respect of “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra” is a complex issue, ” Kerry said. – Opposition and “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra” is almost always occupied the same territory.” Agreed with him and Lavrov: “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra” mimics, changing names, inventing new “umbrellas”, under which they gather different groups, not formally included in the “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra”. This requires attention, in-depth analysis, but this must be done quickly. We try to help our American partners to solve this problem,” – said Lavrov.

“To involve other influential States”

For clear distinction between the need to attract other countries, “who support various groups influence these groups and have the opportunity to help in the division,” believes Kerry. Recall that most groups support the Gulf monarchies. In spite of that, Kerry is convinced: “we Have strength and capabilities, as we stated in the past, to engage in “al-Nusra Dzhebhat” and treat her as we treated DAYS, he said. In this region we have allies and friends and we intend to continue to use it.”

Meanwhile, for the first time Russia has received the American list of organizations that joined the ceasefire in Syria, Lavrov said. “We, in turn, briefed their American colleagues) with how we see what the smaller groups are included in this structure (“dzhebhat an-Nusra”), the Minister said. – We expect colleagues (from the US) will see this information and it may prove to be useful.”

In the end, we agreed on specific areas in which we will work with the parties. Russia — with the Syrian government, with the opposition — said Lavrov. With regional partners we work we and our American colleagues.”

“Achieving clarity” and “small unsolved problems”

Both Russia and the United States clearly agree that we need a political solution to the crisis, “a military solution can not be”, – said Kerry. “We must achieve a more stable and safe region and then be collected at the negotiating table in Geneva to find a political solution,” he said.

Ended the last round of technical consultations on Syria, said the Secretary. Russia and the United States was able to achieve clarity in how to resume a truce in Syria. – I’m grateful to Sergey Lavrov that all day he was with me in the negotiations – a long, but productive and constructive”, – said the American diplomat . However, he said, remained a “small outstanding issues”, which the experts of the parties will discuss in Geneva to “take the necessary steps to build confidence and overcome the deep mistrust that exists on all sides,” he added. In particular, he reiterated that it is necessary to see a clear implementation of the ceasefire from the Syrian authorities.

Recall that the truce in Syria is valid from February 27 and is not valid for groups, recognized by the UN Security Council as a terrorist, including the “Islamic state*” and “jabhat al Fatah ash-sham” (the former “dzhebhat an-Nusra”).

“The Kurds need to remain part of Syria”

A common position of Russia and the United States also expressed on the situation of Kurds speaking, therefore, against their separation from Syria. “The Kurds need to remain part of the Syrian state, part of the solution rather than a factor that will be used in order for Syria to be split, because it will entail a chain reaction across the region, nobody is interested”, – said Lavrov. However, he added that in the political process, “the Kurds should be fully represented”.

“We are for a United Syria – said Kerry. – We do not support an independent Kurdish initiative. Work with them, with some elements of the Kurdish forces, was conducted on a very limited basis”. He noted that contacts with the Kurds took place in close cooperation with Turkey. “We understand the sensitivity of our friends in Turkey,” he said.

We will remind, on Wednesday, the Turkish army supported by the international coalition launched a military operation “cleaning” of the city Dzharablus in Syria, where the Kurds had intended to oust the militants. Ankara ordered the Kurds to leave the territory, but they did not obey. Yesterday evening the Turkish military first came into open combat with Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria. In the end, the Turkish artillery destroyed a group of fighters self-defense of the Kurds to the South of the city of Dzharablus. While visiting Turkey earlier Vice-the U.S. President Joseph Biden warned that the United States will be deprived of the support forces of the Syrian Kurds if they do not obey the request of Ankara.

“Optimism in the local, but not a strategic plan”

“The results of the negotiations for the first time in a long time, were encouraging,” said Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev on his page in Facebook.

With him partly agreed with him and experts. – As for the Syrian opposition are the Gulf monarchies, “it is very unlikely that in the strategic plan, these negotiations are leading anywhere” – says a senior researcher at the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies, Institute of Oriental studies Boris Dolgov, who was quoted by RIA “Novosti”. “But in local terms, in practical, in terms of the ceasefire for a period of humanitarian progress is possible”, – said the interlocutor. HE reminded that all parties are interested in improving or establishing humanitarian supplies of the population.

It is not excluded that the meeting of Lavrov and Kerry will speed up the resumption of inter-Syrian talks, but again a big problem — if they’ll lead to consensus,” said Debts. “The main thing is the settlement of the crisis, and it is only possible if there is goodwill on both sides — the US and Russia. While the part of the States ongoing policy attempts to offset the Syrian government by any means”, — concluded the expert.

* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”


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