“A few stars came together so” that there was “greater potential” for progress in the Syrian settlement than observed in the recent time, stated on 10 July, the UN special envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura at a press conference devoted to the beginning of a new round of talks in Geneva. The agreement on de-escalation can help to reduce the conflict and lead to stabilization, he said (quoted by Reuters). It is estimated that the truce in the South-West of Syria, which on 7 July was agreed between the US and Russia, generally respected.
10 July in Geneva, negotiations began to resolve the Syrian conflict. Seventh round of negotiations began with a meeting de Mistura with the delegation of the Syrian government, headed by the permanent representative of the country to the UN Bashar al-ja’afari at the Palais des Nations. Later, de Mistura talked to the heads of the delegations of the Syrian opposition — the Higher Committee on negotiations (WCP), based in Riyadh, as well as with Moscow and Cairo platforms.
This meeting will be devoted to discussion of two topics — the reform of the Constitution of Syria and the fight against terrorism, said before the talks, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN office at Geneva Alexei Borodavkin. According to the Russian diplomat, the progress in these two areas will be the “key to all other issues of a political settlement” of the conflict. In the fight against the terrorist threat, according to Borodavkin, we will focus on combining the efforts of the armed forces as the Syrian government and the opposition in the fight in the first place with groups “Islamic state” and “Frente al-Nusra” (both organizations are banned in Russia).
For the first time in the consultations on constitutional reform will take part the delegation of the CPSU. As expressed by Sergey Lavrov, the CPSU “is still considered below their dignity to work with the opposition, representing the Moscow and Cairo platform.” The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia called such a move “a great qualitative shift” in the approach of the CPSU to implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council of 18 December 2015, which envisages conducting negotiations on political issues. “I hope that this constructive change impact working with the Riyadh group (with the CPSU. — RBC) of those external actors, which, in General, is doing on her iPod, so to speak. It’s the changes that we actively welcome”, — Lavrov said (quoted by “RIA Novosti”). The CPSU supports Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Western countries. On 6 July, the President of France Emmanuel macron in a telephone conversation with Riad Hijab has confirmed that Paris would continue to support the CPSU.
Attempts to discuss the reform of the Constitution is underway with the beginning of the year. In the previous round may 16-19 the participants of the talks agreed on a procedure for elaboration of constitutional and legal Affairs experts.
Aleksey Borodavkin expressed confidence that the Geneva process will help the agreements on creating areas of de-escalation in Syria. While the US and Russia with the participation of Jordan and Israel agreed to establish a single zone in the South — West of the country, in the provinces of Dara’a, as Suwayda and Quneitra. According to the agreements of Russia, Turkey and Iran should be created three zones. The parameters of their creation was to be finalized at talks in Astana on July 4-5, but the Turkey took longer to make decisions, and negotiations were postponed until August.
To predict the outcome of the seventh round of the Geneva talks on Syria is difficult, as the participants of the Syrian conflict, depending on the given circumstances build different behavioral tactics, experts of the Russian international Affairs Council (RIAC) Maxim Suchkov. “Of course, when the two main external participant in the Syrian conflict (USA and Russia. — RBC) signal the intention to find common ground to translate into political conflict is the impetus for players “on the ground”, — said the expert.