Under the above heading, Mariana Belinkaya wrote, in “Kommersant”, about the outcome of the “Astana” talks in Sochi for the Syrian settlement. Is there any hope?
The article stated: The fifteenth round of talks according to the “Astana Form” was concluded in Sochi, on Tuesday, to settle the situation in Syria.
The closing statement by the representatives of Russia, Iran, and Turkey that followed the Sochi talks contains 17 points, most of them devoted to the constitutional committee’s faltering work.
On the sidelines of the talks in Sochi, the idea promoted, apparently, by Damascus and Tehran, that progress in the work of the Constitutional Committee could occur only after the presidential elections in Syria, scheduled for this summer.
It seems that Damascus wants to hide behind “popular support” for its path and to obtain guarantees for political stability in the short term. In this regard, the official representative of the opposition in the Astana talks, Ayman Al-Asimi, said at the closing press conference that they, in the opposition, did not accept elections without agreeing to the constitution, as well as the idea that something might change after that. Note that this view has received full support from the West.
The opposition, along with the United Nations, hopes Moscow can convince the Syrian authorities to initiate a constructive conversation.
While Moscow does not cease to believe in the possibility of achieving some progress in the political settlement, by May and June, the date of the next meeting of the “Astana Formula” that was initially planned. And Russia is sincerely ready to work in this direction, including intensifying contacts with the opposition, from which the Special Representative of the Russian President, Alexander Lavrentiev, heard in his talks with her about its willingness to make concessions towards compromises. The Special Representative of the President said nothing about concessions from Damascus. But few seem to believe in success on Russia’s side. The statements of the parties to the conflict – Damascus and the opposition – are still hostile to each other and do not advance the solution of the prisoner exchange issue.
The article expresses only the opinion of the newspaper or writer