The Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh on Tuesday ended without any agreement as Moscow didn’t agree on any changes to President Bashar Assad’s rule or altering of the current Syrian constitution.
Speaking with the American broadcaster ABC, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov claimed the “whole core, the essential element” of the Kremlin’s policy towards Syria is helping the Syrian people to make their own choices freely.
President Donald Trump does plan to address other world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, and he will be accompanied by other top advisers, including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka Trump, who stopped by U.N. headquarters Friday for a private lunch with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
For the last five years, U.S. policy on the Syrian civil war has revolved around supporting the United Nations’ efforts to find a political accommodation between the main combatants in the war – and reminding anyone who will listen that only a political resolution will end the grinding conflict for good.
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.
The Russian announcement of the de-escalation zones in Syria is moving at an accelerating pace, with the statement about two new areas in two weeks. Moscow announced de-escalation zones in the southwest of Syria, including the provinces of Suwayda, Daraa and Quneitra.
China’s special envoy for Syria, Xie Xiaoyan, said the Astana and Geneva peace talks on the settlement of the Syrian crisis are “mutually supportive”, noting that a new round of the UN-mediated talks is expected to be held in the Swiss city in August.
Qatar’s initiative to create a new platform to Syrian conflict resolution in Doha is a very difficult issue due to serious diplomatic problems.
After a successful demarcating the safe zone in Eastern Ghouta by Russia’s military and Syria’s rebel groups near Damascus, a joint checkpoint manned by Russian and Syrian military personnel has opened there.