Resident of Central Asia
30 December 2016 (nCa) — Despite the western attempts to undermine the Russian economy by multiple layers of sanctions, Russia seems to have staged full-scale revival of its role as a counterweight to US-Europe tandem at the international political arena.
Of course, it is too early to predict the future course of events until the initiatives taken so far yield any real-life outcomes. However, Russia has already set in motion the treatment of ‘ulcers and sores’ on the political body of Earth.
Two events, in particular, are of significance:
– On 20 December 2016 Moscow hosted trilateral meeting of Russia, Iran and Turkey to discuss the Syrian agenda and mapped out ways of settlement. Twin trilateral discussions took place in the format of foreign ministers and defense ministers of three powers.
– On 27 December the third round of trilateral consultations on Afghanistan gathered senior officials of Russia, China and Pakistan in Moscow.
US ‘doesn’t see this as a snub’
The Western and US media is giving a massive cold shoulder to the peace-keeping deals of Moscow.
Whether the USA has taken umbrage or not, as it turned out – the things can be done without the US. To the great embarrassment, Kerry was not been even invited to the troika meeting in Moscow. “The Secretary doesn’t see this as a snub at all,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.
The State Department had expressed skepticism over Moscow talks in a telephone call of John Kerry with his Russian and Turkish counterparts that took place immediately after the talks.
However, there is an explanation. The US-Russian agreement on Syrian cease-fire, reached in September 2016, has failed.
Furthermore, the US halted negotiations with Russia on Syrian subject and decided that it’s better to cooperate with European and Arab countries. So, on 10 December 2016, Paris hosted the US-led meeting of European and Arab foreign ministers as well as Syrian opposition leaders.
Here, the moment is to put some side notes – It’s hard to refrain from salty comment. The history since the second Russian revolution (1917) till the present is full of facts how the good old Europe-and-US-monster had backed the elements, undermining foundations of statehood, sovereignty and power legitimacy, while packaging up all wheeling-dealing into ‘democracy concept’.
Probably that’s why Russia turns to the US by its ‘sitzfleisch’ as concerns the Syrian issue and joins efforts with other regional players – Turkey and Iran.
Iran and Turkey – non-random choice
Russia has chosen Iran and Turkey as the stakeholders in Syrian problem not accidently. —The unification is possible with those who are interested in the success of a common goal.
Faced with the common US-Western aggravation, Ankara and Moscow have managed to overcome the crisis in bilateral relations and reconcile. Moreover, the murder of Ambassador Karlov has even enforced the political rapprochement between the two countries, despite the intentions of tragedy’s shadow authors.
At present, Turkey actually, rather than on paper, makes significant contribution to solving the problem of Syrian refugees. Turkey has opened the doors for 2.7 million of 4.8 million Syrian refugees. Proceeding from that, Turkey has both moral and political right as a neighbor to help Syria in conflict resolving.
Iran has confidently spreads its wings in the post-sanctions period. Iran and Syria have common roots in religious confession. Assad’s family belongs to Alawites, known as Alawis, being a part of Shia Islam.
Take a look at the world political map — Syria is a strategic staging point for Iran in Middle East.
After the victory of Islamic Revolution, Iran and Syria had stood as a united front and our relationship has become stronger with every passing day, said Ali Akbar Velayati, the President of Center for Strategic Research of Iranian Expediency Discernment Council in March 2016.
Kazakhstan – prospects for positive contribution to Syrian conflict settlement
The prospects of engaging Central Asian nation Kazakhstan into the peaceful settlement of Syrian problem is a refreshing development in the whole process.
Russia, Turkey and Iran have supported the ‘Kazakhstan’s invitation to hold talks in Astana between the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups with a view to launching a political settlement’, said press release of Russian foreign ministry.
“This will provide an incentive for accelerating the dialogue under UN auspices in Geneva, which has been in deadlock for a long time due to ultimatums coming from Syria’s external opposition groups”, added a press release.
During a recent meeting with President Putin in St. Petersburg on the sidelines of the CSTO summit, President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan assured his Russian counterpart of country’s readiness to ensure the platform for Syrian peace talks in Astana.
“Kazakhstan is ready to host all parties to the talks in Astana. We spoke with you [Putin], [President of Turkey] Erdogan and [President of Iran] Rouhani … They all agree, we will create all the conditions for meeting of parties [to conflict] and their work”, Nazarbayev said.
In successful scenario, the peace talks in Astana would take place in mid-January 2017. In long term, peace-making involvement of Astana could become practical realization of Nazarbayev’s Manifest “Peace. XXI Century”, aimed at eradication of the virus of war at the global scale.
Obviously, it would be a daunting task to disentangle almost six-year civil war in Syria, taking into account the fact that bringing peace in Syria would face serious opponents. However, the task is realistic, provided a firm determination and commitment of the initiator-parties.
To be continued . . .