The heads of diplomacy Russian, Turkish and Iranian were meeting this Saturday in Moscow to try to find a way out of the war in Syria, where the three countries imposed themselves as key actors of the conflict.
Moscow and Tehran, allies of Damascus, and Ankara, which supports the Syrian rebels, sponsor the peace process in Astana, which allowed the creation of four “demilitarized zones” in Syria. But the negotiations to end the Syrian war, which left more than 350,000 dead since 2011, s have been hampered by the conflicting interests of Russia, Turkey and Iran, and by divergences regarding the future of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
The last summit between the three countries dates back to the beginning of April in Ankara. The presidents of the three countries, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hasan Rohani then pledged to cooperate to achieve “a lasting ceasefire” in Syria.
The meeting in Moscow between the Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Turkish Mevlüt Cavusoglu and the Iranian Mohamad Javad Zari f has been focused “on all aspects of cooperation established in the framework of the Astana process and to specify the stages that could be decided from now on, “Turkish diplomacy said in a statement.
Russian diplomacy indicated, on the other hand, that the negotiations would mainly address the situation humanitarian in the country at war. “Providing aid to the Syrian people is not something that should be conditioned by a political objective,” said its spokesperson, Maria Zajarova.
Cavusoglu hailed “the atmosphere of trust between the two countries that allows resolving regional issues”.
The summit continued with a meeting between the Russian minister and his Iranian counterpart
– “A very unstable alliance” –
But the apparent unity shown by the three countries three weeks ago in Ankara fell apart after an alleged chemical attack on the rebel stronghold of Duma, on April 7, which Western countries attributed to the Assad regime.
Turkey considered “appropriate” the response of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, which bombarded Syrian targets as retaliation for what happened in Duma, while Russia and Iran defended the government of Damascus.
The alleged chemical attack “created a crack in the union between these three countries”, says analyst Alexandre Shumilin. “The goals and objectives of each of them are very different,” he continues, citing the diverging ambitions of Moscow and Tehran.
“Iran needs to have a foot in Syrian territory to threaten Israel “, but that” creates problems for Russia, which only wants to stabilize the situation and leave, “says the expert.
Alexei Malachenko, of the Institute for the Dialogue of Civilizations, believes that these three countries they form a “very unstable alliance” with irreconcilable positions. “Turkey has a very clear position: it is against Bashar al-Assad, and it is impossible to reach an agreement on this,” he explains.
– Return to Geneva? –
The Geneva process, involving the regime and all sectors of the Syrian opposition under the auspices of the UN, has been deadlocked for months with few concrete results.
On Wednesday, the chief of the diplomacy of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, urged Russia and Iran to “press Damascus to agree to sit at the negotiating table held under the supervision of the UN .”
Some declarations that could have a good reception in Moscow. After the resounding failure of the Syrian National Congress held at the Sochi resort in January, “Russia is interested in a resumption of the Geneva process,” says Alexandre Shumilin, convinced that this will be “the main issue of the ministerial meeting. ”
Little concrete progress is expected on a political solution to the conflict in that tripartite meeting, which will serve mainly for the three countries to coordinate their actions.
” Apart from declarations of intent, there is no to expect nothing from the meeting (…) Someone will criticize the United States, another will defend Assad, another will talk about the problems of northern Syria and the Kurds, “says Alexei Malachenko.
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The meeting in Moscow between the Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Turkish Mevlüt Cavusoglu and the Iranian Mohamad Javad Zarif has been focused “on all aspects…