Military groups of the Syrian opposition will participate in the upcoming conference in Astana, which will be held may 3 and 4. Russia is very interested in the presence at the talks all sides of the Syrian conflict, as well as regional and international players who can help to reach an agreement on establishment of ceasefire in four regions.
Baladi News added that Moscow wants to achieve the success of this meeting, which will initiate a real ceasefire. Russia wants to show US what a great impact she has in Syria, to qualify for a deal with Washington to preserve its interests.
It is planned to create four zones declaratii: Guth, Northern region of HOMS, Idlib and Northern Aleppo.
The proposal also includes the introduction into Syria of the neutral force, the establishment of zones declaratii in these four regions, as well as a ban on flights within three months over these regions.
However, Russia refused to provide a written proposal of the opposition and said that this will happen during the fourth round of talks in Astana. This indicates a new Russian intrigue, because Russia did offer “verbally” and can quickly take back my words or change my position 180 degrees.
The Syrian government’s delegation arrived in Astana. Also today we expect the arrival of the delegation of the armed Syrian opposition.
Syrian political analyst Abdul-Rahman Matar considers that all consultation meetings that were held in Astana between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran had failed to produce agreement on the ceasefire and specific mechanisms for the implementation of this agreement.
Mr. Matar in an exclusive interview for Baladi News reported that all the participants of the conference in Astana focused around a single goal, namely finding a way out of the impasse. Government troops continue military operations to crush the uprising against his regime, but they can’t do it, despite the military support the Russian and Iranian allies, and regaining control of Aleppo and other areas. However, the change of the real situation in all the liberated regions can quickly lead to the collapse of the Russian-Iranian participation in military operations in Syria. In turn, the military opposition groups are highly fragmented due to sharp differences between them, which weakens their ability to confront and lasting control over conquered territories.
In addition, Matar said that the representatives of the States-guarantors of the truce are also looking for a way out of the situation. All these countries have similar goals, but their methods differ. Especially it concerns the Moscow and Tehran, which forced the armed groups to make their own conditions to ensure compliance with the cease-fire. However, they do not prevent air and ground military operations, and their goal is the expulsion or elimination of the armed groups in Syria.
Evaluating the previous rounds of negotiations Matar said that all past negotiations have not led to any results. States-guarantors of the truce is not able to prevent daily violations of the ceasefire by government forces. And if the States-guarantors of the truce are participants in military operations in Syria, how they actually can work on developing mechanisms that will define the conditions for this truce. The fulfillment of all conditions of the cease-fire is underway, and also discusses the means of coercion of all parties to abide by these terms, including penalties for their violation.
The fourth round of negotiations in Astana has not changed anything. The government regime in Syria used chemical weapons several times under the supervision of Russia and Iran. There are no grounds for optimistic conclusions, the uncertainty still in the air. The last meeting between Tehran and the three guarantor States has not brought anything new. Syrian armed groups must recognize the Russian and Iranian role in the effort to establish a cease-fire and withdrawal from conflict Syrian groups and government forces. And that means a new opportunity to strengthen its presence and even its legalization, if approved by the armed groups.
With regard to the partner and the state as guarantor of Turkey, it seems in the current standoff with the militia of Saleh, the special role of the U.S. in supporting “democratic” forces in Syria and unclear political position of the USA on the situation in the region, gives us confidence that everything may change slightly. However, Moscow and Tehran insisted at the summit in Astana, in the alternative summit in Geneva. But trump still does not take seriously the summit in Astana. I think trump makes out like in Astana, there is nothing special, and all issues remain unresolved due to the attempts of political groups to blackmail each other, and therefore, with disdain to the ceasefire.
Considering the negotiations, a political scientist Abdul Rahman Matar concluded that the armed groups of the Syrian opposition and the guarantor countries have stalled. They do not think that the negotiations will actually lead to a cease-fire and they are fully aware that it is virtually impossible. New information about changes in the positions of the parties is absent, nevertheless, they may refuse to compromise.. and will blame each other for the failure of the talks in Astana!