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US diplomatic approach towards Syrian crisis

Alwaght- In past few days Moscow has been centre for diplomatic visits seeking settlement for Syrian crisis.

Few days after some of the Arab leaders’ tour to Moscow, the US new envoy for Syria Michael Ratney has been sent to Moscow to negotiate the Syrian case with the Russian officials. The analysts believe that the diplomatic traffic in Russia indicates that the major players are more than ever seeking for a breakthrough. As a key ally for Damascus, Moscow has taken the initiative to settle the five-year Syria’s crisis, with the Russian president has recently met Egyptian, Emirati and Jordanian leaders, talking about the Syrian case. Earlier, the Iranian and Saudi Foreign Ministers have separately met the Russian officials and negotiated solutions in Syria. Analysts suggest that diplomatic moves on Syria prove that after five years of violence in Syria, based on developments on the ground, there are no military solutions to Syria’s conflict, an issue the Iranian officials have always pointed, as they spoke of talks between Syrian sides to put an end to the devastating dispute.

 

The US new envoy for Syria in Kremlin

Apparently, now the US has, at least seemingly, taken a more open and positive standing against diplomatic efforts made by Russia to deal with Syrian crisis, as Washington has sent its new special envoy for Syria to Moscow.The US department of state’s spokesman John Kirby said that the US knows well that to put an end to Syria’s conflict a lot of measures are needed, and Washington can work with Russia to pursue diplomatic solution and political transition in the country. He added that the US, based on a right view on the crisis in Syria, would cooperate with Russia and Saudi Arabia, adding the US new special envoy for Syria Michael Ratney talks a political pathway for Syria’s crisis with Moscow and Riyadh officials. The US special envoy has been sent to Russia after Washington officials have begun to reach conviction that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict.

John Kirby said that he was not speaking on behalf of Russia, however he said that, obviously, the crisis in Syria has no military settlement, and this is the US’ official standing on the case.Nevertheless, while the US claims that it favours diplomatic efforts to exit from Syrian crisis, it helps armed groups fighting against the Syrian government, as it trains them, and provides them with military and logistic supplies.

In addition to the US, some of the European countries declared support for the Russian diplomatic initiative, as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel hoped that Berlin would join Moscow in its attempts to settle Syrian crisis politically. She added that Germany is hopeful that Russia plays a crucial role in Syrian case, as the chancellor asked for constructive Moscow-Berlin ties.

 

Staffan de Mistura’s documents

Ten days after unanimously passing a statement in the United Nations Security Council, emphasizing political solution for Syria’s conflict, Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria has handed in two documents to different Syrian groups, asking for settlements for their country’s crisis.  According to Al Mayadeen news network, the documents ask Syrians to list their representatives for different teams to join the UN efforts to work out a mechanism for a withdrawal from the current situation in their country. The first document sets a 90-day deadline, starting from August 17, 2015, for the activity of the teams, the duty of which is to prepare suitable grounds, by drafting some agreements, for holding Geneva III conference that aims to bring Syrian opposing sides together to debate an end for the crisis in the country.

The second document, titled ‘Implementation of Geneva I Conference’s Statement’, invites for a step-by-step dialogue course, as it calls for starting the talks from less disputed points; as formation of transitional government is the last step in the gradual framework. Determining some executive powers for the transitional government, however, the second document does not officially mention leverages of the government in the transitional period, as it sets no schedule for holding presidential elections in the transitional period. The document, also, authorizes the transitional government to establish a joint military council, calling for holding future presidential elections based on the country’s new constitution. The document has no timing for the transitional period. It is still not clear how similar or different the Russian political initiative or the de Mistura’s efforts are, but the two sides say they support each other’s attempts, and their plans are not conflicting, rather they complete one another.

 

De Mistura’s documents’ ambiguities

Haytham Manna, a prominent Syrian opposition figure, and the deputy head of Syria’s National Coordination Committee for opposition organization of Democratic Change, with reference to the documents given to Damascus has claimed that the de Mistura’s documents contain some vague points concerning  Iran and Egypt’s participation in Syria’s talks. Moreover, Manna who is also a member of Cairo’s Syria preparative meeting, says other ambiguities of the de Mistrua’s plan are the Russian pressures on Syrian government, and similarly, the US pressing of the opposition coalition to adhere to the UN’ s Syria statement. However, he admitted that de Mistura’s plan meets and corresponds with the Syrian real situation, and it cannot be considered a regional intervention. Haythan Manna, also addressing the Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani asked for an Iranian-Saudi meeting to debate solutions for the Syrian and Yemeni conflicts,and other conflicts in the region as well.

BY Alwaght