Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said on Wednesday that the achievements made by the Syrian army and its allies in the war against terrorism are a matter of pride, affirming that Syria is approaching the phase of victory.
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.
Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and other small parties, including those representing Assyrian and Turkmen minorities. New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil tout “yes to independence.”
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.
Syria’s government and opposition negotiators could soon hold face-to-face talks for the first time, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday, the penultimate day of a round of peace talks in Geneva.
Jordan is intensifying diplomatic efforts to help forge an agreement between the United States and Russia to establish a safe or de-escalation zone in southern Syria. Jordan hopes to prevent the vast Syrian Badia area, which extends along Jordan’s northern borders with Syria, from turning into a battlefield involving US-led coalition forces and rebel allies on the one hand, and regime and Iran-backed militias on the other.
The progress of the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement may be threatened by states cutting off diplomatic relations with Qatar, depending on Turkey and Iran’s involvement in this diplomatic standoff, Tarek Ahmad, a member of the Damascus Platform opposition group and a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) said.
The European Union extended its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime until 1 June 2018, a decision in line with the EU strategy on Syria which states that the EU will maintain its restrictive measures the regime and its supporters as long as the repression of civilians continues.
China on Tuesday expressed the hope that relevant parties in Syria make use of peace talks in Astana and Geneva to contribute to the political solution to the issue.