Major players gather for Syria crisis talks amid low hopes
… from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: No one is holding their breath about a major breakthrough at this meeting, but that does not mean it is a waste of time. There will be no “covert’ attack on Syria by the Americans while such talks are going on. Not even the US wants to push that envelope too hard at this point.
The main issue here is those that see themselves losing in a peaceful outcome of the Syrian war where they do not get what they want out of it, would prefer that it continue.
The elected Syrian government and standing UN member, however, has a right to take that position because it is being attacked by what is clearly an highly organized and funded foreign effort. The UN recognizes the right to self defense, and Syria can legally invite other countries to help defend it.
But we find ourselves in the surreal situation where these same UN members that are attacking Syria feel that their “concerns” have to be addressed fairly, even though what they are doing is in violation of the UN charter. This screams for the obvious re-evaluation of the New World Order train where State sponsored terrorism is an issue that cannot even make the discussion list at these international forums.
Nothing can ever be fixed without first admitting what the problem is, and we have an incredible example of this today in Saudi Arabia’s surprising admission that it DID bomb the funeral hall in Yemen after all, but that it was a mistake because the required protocol was not followed. It further said that those responsible would be punished and compensation paid to all victims.
Now sit back and image the day when a similar admission is made by the entire anti-Syria coalition, that they just learned that using terror proxies for geopolitical regime change partisan interests was a violation of the UN charter and a long list of international crimes, and that those responsible would be punished and compensation paid.
The Yemen funeral bombing admission and acceptance of responsibility has opened the door for us to get a very public discussion on this classic elephant in the living room conundrum.
Ban ki-Moon deserves a lot of the credit as he ponied up to the table to take the Yemen slaughter on with stronger language than he ever had before. Sure, it was easier for him to do it because he was leaving, but he did it, and it helped get some results.
If we don’t ramp up the public pressure to fight back against State sponsored terrorism now it will become a permanent part of our lives, and put in the generic category of “doo-doo happens” and it is just a part of life. And as part of the punishment that Saudi Arabia his mentioned, we need to make sure that is extended to the entire Saudi coalition air campaign for the ongoing war crime that it is… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … October 15, 2016 –
Diplomats from various countries, including Iran, the United States, and the UK, are gathering in Switzerland for new talks to find a solution to the Syria conflict.
The negotiations were to start in Lausanne Saturday with US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as top diplomats from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran departed Tehran for the Swiss city on Saturday morning to attend the talks. Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Zarif’s deputy for Arab and African Affairs, will be accompanying him.
There are varying degrees of hope as to whether the talks will be successful in ending the violence in Syria, even if temporarily. Iran and Russia support the elected Syrian government, while the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey back the militants fighting the state.
‘Are they prepared?’
Vitaly Churkin, who is Russia’s ambassador to the UN and the Security Council’s current president, said Lavrov and Kerry will try to get Saudi Arabia and Turkey to use their influence with militant groups in Syria for a fresh truce.
Churkin said Lavrov and his US counterpart decided “to revisit” the format of some 20 countries in the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to a small group of countries as it was difficult to reach consensus on specific topics.
“I think it will be very important to see: are they prepared to really work for a cessation of hostilities? If this time they are more responsible about it, then progress can be made,” Churkin commented.
The Russian diplomat further expressed concern at reports “that those so-called moderate groups are making new arrangements” with al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front terrorist group.
By “moderate” groups, he was referring to the militant outfits that the US likes to brand as such but that are linked to terrorist groups anyway.
“So this is one of the major sticking points, and hopefully at this meeting in Lausanne, those countries that have an influence will take a stronger stand so that those groups, in fact, could distance from Nusra,” Churkin said.
Earlier on Friday, Lavrov had played down the possibility for the Lausanne talks to produce results. Lavrov also insisted that Russia has no intention to introduce fresh initiatives during the meeting.
The Russian foreign minister’s pessimism about the Lausanne talks was reflected by an unnamed French diplomatic source, who said, “When you see the results from the previous efforts, quite frankly, I’m a bit skeptical about the next ones.”
A senior US official, though, said the meeting was designed to come up with ideas meant to end the Syrian conflict, not an immediate breakthrough.
“I think we need to see what happens in the room to determine whether this is the beginning of a new process that continues in this format or not,” he said.
A US-Russian brokered ceasefire for Syria expired on September 19 after being in effect for only a week.
Damascus refused to extend the truce after US airstrikes targeted a Syrian military base in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr in violation of the agreement, leaving over 80 soldiers dead and some 100 others wounded.
Russia has criticized the US for not doing enough to rein in the anti-Damascus militants in Syria to protect the truce, saying continued breaches of the ceasefire by militants made it “senseless” for Syrian authorities to stand committed to the agreement.