In the coming days, the Kremlin’s thoughts are not associated with Washington and Astana preparations for the Kazakh capital, the negotiations paid a lot of attention. Now it is important that the meeting is not broke and that it managed to conclude a truce. So far, so good, January 23, do may be for the Syrian crisis, the decisive day.
The idea of organizing negotiations between the parties to the Syrian conflict appeared in Astana in the end of last year, after it was formed three Russia – Turkey – Iran, and since then the work on preparation for a meeting goes at full speed.
The goal is clear: you need to hold first war meeting between the government and the armed opposition and sign it a temporary truce. This will be a historic breakthrough, a real milestone in the almost six years of war.
Given that the agreements reached Putin and Erdogan, the Syrian opposition is nowhere. Not only those who are partly dependent on the Turks, but Pro-Saudi groups – because everyone knows that the rejection of truce will lead to the ingress into the category of terrorist, that is, the equating of ISIS* and “an-Nusra”. With all the ensuing battle the Russian air strikes.
So what is expected in Astana, are quite serious representation of the opposition – and even if Damascus and the rebels will not sit at the same table, and limited contact through intermediaries, the chances of signing of the armistice large enough. And it will be a sensation.
Russia, Turkey and Iran are the organizers of the negotiations and the guarantors of the truce – and if it is fixed, it will become clear that these three countries are to appease Syria and force the hand of reconciliation. All the rest – and that part of the armed opposition that will not go to Astana, and all the foreign players will be forced to join the process.
Work on the success of Astana is in full swing. In Syria, the declared truce, the armed opposition demands that it is respected and in the South, in Damascus, threatening in case of its violation to cancel the trip to Astana. Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, holds telephone talks with Turkish, Iranian and Syrian leadership, with the President of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev.
On Friday was held a Russian-Chinese consultations on the Syrian issue – they have been at the level of foreign Minister, but Putin and XI have in General a coherent position on Syria. Next week to Moscow there will arrive the Minister for foreign Affairs of Jordan, will involve Egypt and Iraq. The invitation comes and the Americans – but it is clear that after the inauguration of the new administration, to which, however, remained a week. Exactly the same will be attracted and Saudi Arabia. The beginning of talks in Astana scheduled for January 23 – and then everything has a value, and the place and time.
It is understandable why Astana is a clear demonstration of the fact that the key role in the Syrian settlement plays Russia. Kazakhstan is a close ally of Russia, member of the Eurasian Union and the Shanghai cooperation organisation, i.e. the Russian-Chinese project, gradually transformed into a pan-Asian. In addition, Kazakhstan is still a Muslim country – so the best place ever. In Asian, Muslim, allied with Russia and to solve the major world problem and look for ways out of the war, which is in Muslim and Asian country, also Russia Union state. Not Geneva, where for years under the auspices of the first Western countries have tried to bring Assad and the rebels – and the Eurasian Bank.
While Astana does not negate the Geneva – but there is scheduled for February 8 meeting will make sense only if the success of the first negotiations in the capital of Kazakhstan. By the time a new American administration arrives and Tillerson will arrive in Switzerland on the “all done”. It is likely that two sites will run in parallel, complementing one another – but they all understand what is the main. The one where the armistice was signed, which was organized by Russia, Turkey and Iran – and the Astana talks would have to join the US and Saudi Arabia.
In addition, Astana will allow you to connect and authoritative Nursultan Nazarbayev who personally have a stabilizing effect on Russian-Turkish agreement, which starts a real shift towards ending the war in Syria. Nazarbayev comfortable and for the Islamic world and the West, and China – so if the talks in Astana will move forward and eventually there will be found the formula of the Syrian settlement, it would be quite convincing proof of the high international authority of Nazarbaev personally.
The Syrian settlement would be a long and tedious process – after all, Russia, like Damascus, is not interested in the responsibility (not legal, and actual) of the country, and therefore, there are complex negotiations among the various teams, groups, clans, tribes, communities, and their external patrons. But if these negotiations will take place in the conditions of the armistice in large parts of Syrian territory – it will be a great achievement of the meeting in Astana.
* 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”