Missiles dialogue: how complicated talks on Syria after U.S. attack

After the incident on 4 April with the chemical attack in Syria once again sounded the demands of the leaders of Western countries about the need for the withdrawal of Bashar Assad as President. “We all understand that the rule of the Assad family comes to an end, and the question is how it will end and what will be the transit,” said U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson 11 April summit of foreign Ministers of the countries “the seven” in Italian Arezzo. That USA aim the resignation of Assad, on April 9 announced and the permanent representative of the country at the UN, Nikki Haley. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called these performances “a return to pseudopopular settlement in the style of reciting mantras.” According to Peskov, this Declaration is unable to bring a political settlement in Syria. Notwithstanding the Secretary of state about the fate of Assad, in the final statement of the countries “the seven” called for the continuation of talks on the issue in Geneva.

The actions of the US and new contradictions in the opposition

About the evaluation of a missile strike USA 7 April on the airfield Syrian air force Shirt, the views of the Syrian opposition is divided. Higher Committee on negotiations (WCP), based in Riyadh, welcomed the attack, calling it “the real beginning of the war against terror.” “Bombing the US is the only convincing response to war crimes committed by the regime and its allies,” said the next day after hitting the representative of the CPSU Salem al-Muslet. The armed opposition is also satisfied. The representative of the political Bureau of the group “Jaish al-Islam” Mohammad Biradar called the attack “a bold and correct step.” According to Barcadera, this will become an important instrument of pressure on the Syrian authorities to resolve the conflict and stop the bloodshed.

Russia-backed opposition group, on the contrary, condemned the United States. The demands for Assad’s resignation is tantamount to calls to continue the war in Syria for another ten years, said the Il’yana Massad, leader of the opposition group “Hamim”. All the talk about the fact that Moscow is trying to keep Assad in power, is totally wrong, protect a position of Russia and representative of the “Moscow platform” of the Syrian opposition, Qadri Jamil. According to him, Russia is just seeking peaceful settlement of the conflict and avoid further bloodshed. And now the overthrow of the legitimate government will only lead to more disorder and chaos.

Both representatives of opposition are convinced that the conflict can be put only through negotiations in Geneva and Astana. “If we talk about who could benefit from this attack, it is likely that those who were trying to sabotage a political settlement at the latest meeting in Geneva, namely armed groups, such as “EN-Nusra Front” (a terrorist organization banned in Russia. — ) and its allies,” — said Qadri Jamil.

The path to Geneva in Astana

April 14 in Moscow the foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey plan to discuss ways to continue the political dialogue. Their appointment was announced on 11 April, the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. Three countries are guarantors of the armistice in Syria, announced on 29 December last year. Turkey after a U.S. attack on a Syrian airfield supported the actions of the Americans, Iran and Russia condemned them.

Despite differences, all three countries expressed the need to continue negotiations. The next meeting in Astana, where the trio will discuss the progress of the truce, to be held may 3-4. In the previous round of talks in the capital of Kazakhstan, held on 14-15 March, much progress has not happened: the delegation of the armed opposition has not arrived, accusing the Syrian army and its allies of violating the truce.

The date of the next, sixth round of the Geneva talks on Syria still unknown. It is expected to be appointed following consultations, the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura with the members of the UN security Council in new York on April 12. The fifth round in Geneva in late March also ended in vain. Participants were unable to reconcile their positions: the delegation of the Syrian government has insisted on discussing all issues, including on the transition in Syria through the prism of counter-terrorism; the delegation of the CPSU promoted the issue of the transition government. Deputy foreign Minister of Syria, Faisal Miqdad in an interview to “RIA Novosti” said that despite the loss of confidence in de Mistura, Damascus will continue to work with him while he occupies his current position. According to Syrian authorities, acting special envoy ceased to be “an honest broker” as it follows the course of US policy and the West.

American attack temporarily complicate the prospects of the negotiations in Geneva and Astana, according to the expert of Institute of Oriental studies Irina Zvyagelskaya. However, in her opinion, accepted trump’s decision to use military force against the forces of Assad is a situational response and not a strategic choice that does not exclude the possibility of further joint efforts of Russia and the USA on settlement of the conflict. Without bilateral cooperation hope for the continuation of the Geneva talks is impossible, I’m sure Zvyagelskaya. “The arrival Tillerson (April 11 gossekretar arrived in Moscow. — ) might give hope that despite the incident, we still have a sufficient field for mutual cooperation, as the settlement in Syria is necessary for all parties”, — the expert concludes.