Another round of Syria Peace Talks kicks off, but will there be success this time?
As the 11th round of Syria peace talks readies to take off in the Kazakh capital, Astana, this week, speculations are rife if this will be broker peace. The meetings that will take place among Turkey, Russia and Iran, including the Bashar al-Assad regime and the Syrian opposition, are likely to create opportunities for the guarantor countries to exchange views and feelings on the Syrian conflict.
The idea behind the peace talks is to establish a constitutional committee that can rewrite Syria’s constitution. The release of prisoners is at the top of the program. Observers to the meeting will be the United Nations and Jordan. The meeting will be closed to the press. However, when the final declaration is read out and announced, the media will be present.
Who will attend the Syria peace talks?
Deputy Foreign Minister Sedal Onal will be representing Turkey. Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hussein Gabri Ansari will represent Iran. Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian President’s Special Envoy for Syria, will mark his presence. Ahmed Tuma, the former Premier of the Syrian Interim Government, will also take part in the talks. The regime will be represented by Bashar Jaafari, the regime’s Permanent Representative to the UN.
Interestingly, the US has declined to send any officials to the last two meetings.
Astana has held a total of 10 meetings, this being the 11th. The first meeting was in January 2017, pushing for a cease-fire agreement in Syria. Nine further meetings were held in the city, with the 10th held in Sochi. In the last meet, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, agreed to set up a demilitarized zone in Idleb. As per the agreement no acts of aggression will be tolerated in this zone.
As part of the deal, opposition groups in Idleb will stay in areas where they are already present, while joint patrols will be carried out by Russia and Turkey to prevent any further skirmishes.
The war in Syria is long. Casualties and damages have been high. A solution must be found soon and this Syria peace talks must reach a conclusion.
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