The Syrian conflict is moving closer to its end. Despite global expectations, the key settlement process is occurring on the ground and in closed talks, not in front of the media and, therefore, not manipulated by geopolitical players and games in Astana or Geneva. Such formats on the ground and in talks beyond closed doors prove to be more successful and fruitful than all the pomp covered by the media, which just recycles the message of “no outcome.” But through minor steps the greatest goals are achieved.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that Russia and the Kurds of Iraq have strong historical ties that go back decades and that Moscow makes sure its ties with Iraqi Kurdistan do not have a negative impact on anyone else, particularly the Iraqi central government.
A senior Russian official said Kurds should be included in the intra-Syrian peace talks that will resume in Geneva in September this year.
Geneva will host on June 15-16 discussions over the new Syrian constitution, with the participation representatives from the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), as well as the Moscow and Cairo platforms.
The settlement process of the Syrian crisis is impossible to advance without the United States’ involvement in the UN-mediated Geneva format, Syrian opposition member Qadri Jamil said.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura ended four days of Syria talks yesterday, saying there had been “incremental progress” and he planned to reconvene negotiations in June.
UN special envoy’s proposal to form mechanism on Syrian constitution reportedly put on hold as talks continue in Geneva.
Syria peace talks hosted by the United Nations in Geneva spawned a new series of meetings on Thursday with no hint of tangible progress toward a deal to end the six-year-old civil war.
Outside the headlines, something remarkable is going on in Syria. The Kurds, making a long-term play for an autonomous region, seem to have decided that their best bet is to buy it from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And the US is signaling that it may be on-board — a startling reflection of its pro-Russian, anti-Turkish policy.