Pushkov: the Vienna meeting has created a platform for a political solution to the conflict in Syria


MOSCOW, October 31. Russia was a key contributor to the success of the Vienna talks on Syria, because thanks to the efforts of Russian diplomacy almost all the participants agreed to focus on fighting terrorists, and not on the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad. This opinion was expressed by TASS Chairman of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Alexei Pushkov, commenting on the results held on 30 October multilateral negotiations in Vienna.

Created launch pad

The MP noted that the Vienna talks “created a very serious starting point for the negotiation process and the political process in Syria”. First, “the mere fact that meetings in this format – with the participation of Iran, which at the time strongly objected and Saudi Arabia, and the United States, and many other States, with the participation of Saudi Arabia itself, which, as I understand it, is not wanted for a time to sit down at the negotiating table with Iran, is already a political success,” he said. In Vienna managed to gather the leading countries interested in solving the Syrian crisis, said the politician.

With regard specifically to the US, they are, according to Pushkov, has also adjusted its position on Assad, this happened after his recent visit to Moscow. This visit showed that the positions of the Syrian leader is much stronger than it seemed some States, that he is not on the brink of political failure, that his army was capable of offensive action and successes on the battlefield, he added.

“As a result, the U.S. abandoned its previous position on the immediate departure of Assad as a precondition for negotiations with the Syrian government and now they say about managed a smooth transition to the new government. This opens the way to participation in the current negotiations of the Syrian government, which is the only power able to resist the “Islamic state” (ISIS, a terrorist group banned in Russia) on the battlefield in the absence of war in other countries,” continued the head of the Duma Committee.

He believes it is important that the parties have agreed to preserve Syrian state institutions, recognized the priority of the fight against ISIS, agreed to establish a transitional government in Syria and that the negotiations between the government and opposition will be held under the auspices of the UN. “It’s actually a very serious arrangement, since this creates a specific “road map” for the withdrawal of the Syrian crisis from a military phase into a political phase,” says Pushkov.

A course on fighting ISIS and not the overthrow of Assad

Another outcome of the meeting is that a system of agreements, “to all the participants of the Vienna talks focus on combating ISIS, not overthrow the current Syrian government,” Pushkov said. The MP called it a matter of principle. “With the exception of Saudi Arabia, which rigidly insists on its position regarding the early departure of Assad, almost all the other States agree that now we need to concentrate on the fight against ISIS, and the current Syrian government can be a partner,” he said. If earlier talked about Moscow and Tehran, Baghdad, and now talking about it and other participants in the talks, stated Pushkov.

The role of diplomacy and of the Russian Federation HQs

The head of the Duma Committee emphasized that the Vienna meeting would be impossible without the Russian military action in Syria. Operation HQs of the Russian Federation on the territory of Syria “have seriously changed the balance of power in place, strengthened the position of the current Syrian government, has been weakened by the Islamic state and radical Islamists, and showed that to overthrow the Syrian government in the foreseeable future his enemies will not succeed, and without it, the political process impossible,” he said.

“This is an extremely important point. If not for Russian military actions in Syria, which has led to a qualitative change in the situation, and not Russian diplomacy, which in parallel with these military action insisted on the resumption of the political process, I think that many participants of the Vienna talks would be the overthrow of Assad and did bid solely on military responses to the crisis, which already lasts for four years,” suggested Pushkov. “So the position of Russia and the Russian actions played a key role in that, and other members of the world community have been forced to switch to discuss political solutions to the Syrian crisis”, he concluded.