Positives of the Sochi summit!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Is Russia trying to replace UN with Sochi talks after the USA tried for years to make UN an integral part of CIA? Not exactly and on the contrarily!
Russia seeks genuine results of Syria talks to end the long war there began as part of Arab Spring.
The claims that the Sochi talks were some kind of a rouge operation to knock the UN talks out of the box were a complete hoax, mainly because Russia was coordinating Sochi with the UN, publicly stating they were no attempt so replace the UN. But the problem with UN is its all efforts to keep the talks going nowhere by constantly demanding pre-conditions.
In fact the UN talks had been bogged down by the Saudi High Negotiation Committee’s (HNC). When the Un is helpless, Sochi was designed to get around that roadblock. Sochi meant against the small group of deal killers like the HNC, that the majority would not be held hostage to their demands.
The opposition’s strategy can clearly be seen as an attempt to stall the political talks to give the US coalition time to crank up some new chaos in Syria to have them die of crib death. But it seems that the Turkish military entry as a part of US invasion of Syria (and larger West Asia perspective) invasion is one finger of that ploy.
Of course, Russia cannot solve all problems in West Asia since USA has planned very meticulously to destabilize the region minus Israel. Thus the whole purpose of Sochi was not to solve all the problems, but get the process jump started and quite visibly so towards finding an end first and then move on to the UN. The concluding twelve point statement was a home run in that regard, and the cherry on top was to move the next step in the process back to Geneva where some of the key issues could be solved.
All this can in no way be claimed as excluding the UN from the process, and the 1600 participants established a large and diverse representation of those wanting to move forward.
Moscow also believes Syrian puzzle cannot be fully resolved without freeing Afghanistan from the clutches of foreign forces and nations that invaded, devastated and destabilized that South Asian nation on the pretext of Sept-11 hoax, engineered essentially by anti-Islamic forces led by USA and Israel. .
The critical focus now for a successful resolution to the Syrian crisis is to maintain momentum with the political process. The US Coalition obviously knows this so it is doing all it can to disrupt it. Americans might believe that all those Muslim nations that have been destabilized by USA-NATO-Israel, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, belong to USA and no other country has any say in them.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey have been organizing peace talks for Syria in the Kazakh capital of Astana since January 2017. Together, the three countries have been acting as guarantor states for the peace process. They continue their sincere efforts despite the US-Israeli interferences to disrupt the peace process as they did in Mideast peace process where Israel regulates for disaster the US sponsored bogus talks with the besieged Palestinians. .
Capitalizing on the achievements of Astana, Russia on January 29-30 convened a high-profile meeting on Syria — the Syrian Congress of National Dialog — in Sochi.
One Syrian opposition faction, directly controlled by USA, boycotted the meeting, and some non-political groups opposed to Damascus later accused the UN of “rewarding” Russia “upfront” by dispatching Special Envoy de Mistura to the event before securing concessions from Russia and the Syrian government.
Obviously, USA is still eager to hijack UN to use it for promoting the Zionist interests, interestingly, above its won.
West Asia is in the process of geopolitical change and USA is likely to b lose its any importance it thinks it has had in the region. In fact, USA is not welcome in West Asia but America doesn’t want to let Russia occupy its space in the region. Russia and Iran are Syrian government allies and USA opposes them.
In fact, Saudi’s now “alliance” with Israel is only a tactic move to isolate Iran in the region which looks impossible mainly because Tehran has already gone board with its sectarian policy arming and promoting the Shiia forces. As USA and Israel continue to target Islam and promote its divisions, the sectarian attitudes cannot simply vanish from the scene all together.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who also took part in Sochi dialogue, has rejected criticism of the world body’s participation at Syrian peace talks in the Russian resort city of Sochi, praising the outcome of the discussions. Speaking at a press conference at the UN headquarters New York, Guterres said the presence of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Misturain Sochi was based on a common understanding between the UN and the Russian Federation on the nature and outcome of the meeting and its contribution to the UN-mediated Geneva process. “The congress concluded with a statement fully in line with that common understanding,” he added.
Absentees and disagreements
The Syrian Kurds, outraged by Turkey’s Afrin operation, boycotted the meeting. Not only was the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) absent from Sochi, but also absent was its main rival, the Kurdish National Council — a pro-Massoud Barzani alliance recognized by Turkey. More interestingly, Abdel Basset Sieda, the former chairman of the Syrian National Council that Turkey formed and supported, not only refused to go to Sochi but also resigned from the Turkey-backed Syrian group.
In sum, there was no real Syrian Kurdish representation in Sochi. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls a sizable swath of Syrian territory, was not in Sochi either.
There have been disagreements among the participants of the summit as well. For example, 83 delegates from the Syrian opposition unexpectedly refused to sit down for talks under the official Syrian flag. They kept 1,511 other participants waiting for several hours on Jan. 30 and finally boarded the plane and flew back to Turkey.
The opening ceremony has been untypically chaotic for a meeting organized by Russia. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech was interrupted several times by members of the audience shouting slogans. Thus, the Sochi meeting was crippled from the very beginning because of Turkey’s military operation in Afrin and the alienation of the Kurds.
Nonetheless, Russia pushed forward — at the end of deliberations, a communique that the Russian media titled “Syrian Congress in Sochi brings war-torn country closer to constitutional reform” was adopted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephonic conversation with the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The leaders stressed the importance of implementing the reached agreements aimed at the effective promotion of the Syrian political settlement process on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. Putin and Erdogan also discussed Russia-Turkey coordination to ensure stable operation of de-escalation zones in Syria and interaction in the Astana format.
UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which envisaged a “Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition in order to end the conflict in Syria,” was to be realized in 18 months, but is long overdue. Indeed, the last part of the Sochi communique was a display of this helplessness. “We agreed to form a constitutional committee comprising the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation along with a wide-represented opposition delegation for the drafting of a constitutional reform as a contribution to the political settlement under the UN auspices in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254. … We appeal to the UN secretary-general to assign the Special Envoy for Syria for the assistance of the Constitutional Committee work in Geneva,” the communique said.
With a Russia that has become a formidable rival to the USA in the Syrian theater, with a Turkey outraged by Washington’s support for the adversarial Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and with Iran seen as a hostile element by the Donald Trump regime, Geneva is becoming increasingly irrelevant to resolving the Syrian conflict.
With the USA having proven to be a fake mediator in regional conflicts, Russia has taken the lead. The Sochi summit revealed the impotence of Russia as the main arbiter of the Syrian conflict. The Turco-Russian alliance that led the Astana process did not complement Geneva but in a way was aimed to replace it.
The most important outcome of the congress was the call for the establishment of a Constitutional Committee and the selection of a pool of 150 candidates for this committee. The Turkish delegation, which was given the mandate to represent opposition groups that didn’t attend the congress, submitted a list of 50 candidates in consultation with the opposition. The establishment process of the Constitutional Committee will be closely monitored by Turkey as the guarantor of the opposition.”
Having decided on forming a constitutional committee comprising the regime in Damascus and an undefined but widely represented opposition delegation is only going back to square one: Geneva.
Observation: light the other end of tunnel?
The Sochi summit that took place at the end of January was designed to underline the successful achievements of Russia’s involvement in Syria and to consolidate the partnership among Russia, Turkey and Iran. However, the summit revealed the limitations of Russia’s Syria policy instead of Moscow’s growing influence across the Middle East.
The Sochi conference took place just days after the ninth round of UN-led Syria talks failed to achieve tangible results. That round was exceptionally held in the Austrian capital, Vienna, instead of its usual venue of Geneva. Around 1,600 delegates representing a wide range of Syrian political factions attended the Sochi talks. The event was boycotted by the High Negotiations Committee, which is based in and guided by Saudi Arabia.
Damascus welcomed the results of the event and stressed that its final statement affirmed that political progress in Syria cannot begin except under the Syrian leadership and without any foreign interference.
Turkey is an ally of the Syrian opposition led by USA and backed by Israel. The collective efforts of the three countries – Russia, Turkey and Iran – including the brokering of agreements that have significantly reduced fighting in Syria, have made an impact on the ground in the Arab country.
Sochi, by the last paragraphs of its communique, passes the ball to Geneva and implicitly declares the limitations of Russia in Syria. Indeed, Turkey, seeking genuine peace n the region, was quick to endorse the outcome of Sochi and link it to Geneva. In fact, Turkey has acted in a constructive manner about the Russian Federation’s Syrian National Dialogue Congress initiative from the beginning.
If Turkey’s Afrin operation drags on with high civilian casualties that can’t be concealed from the attention of the international public for long, the endorsement of Ankara could turn out to be a liability rather than an asset for those actors in the Syrian theater. Moreover, if Turkey doesn’t or can’t deliver the Syrian opposition in Idlib to its detractors, freewheeling in Afrin could be jeopardized. “We continue to monitor the developments in northern Syria, which are a matter of grave concern,” said Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in an apparent change of tone that might be an indication of Russia’s position shift.
Thanks to its control over the Syrian opposition, Turkey definitely will have leverage in shaping the future steps of the resolution process. However, its military operation in Afrin and its ever-widening chasm with Washington are making Ankara more reliant on Moscow. The latest standoff in Idlib revealed this. The Idlib rift also implies how difficult it would be for Moscow to reconcile the differences among its partners in Syria.
While there is no visible opposition protests worldwide to US intervention in Syria- the real cause of war in Syria and West Asia- criticism is leveled against Turkish intervention in Syria to target the Kurds. That is to say USA and Israel can do any nonsense and cause serious problems, but Turkey cannot do that. US-Israeli fascist duo arranges protests against Turkey.
In contrast, a peace process held under the auspices of the UN — that in Geneva — has achieved little and hence the importance of Sochi. That has angered some Western and Arab governments opposed to the Syrian government and some groups of Syrian opposition backed by those governments. They insist that the Geneva process be given more importance despite its failure so far to make meaningful achievements.
Saudi Arabia, like Israel and USA, thinks it owns and controls the region and does not take any interest in solving the regional problems and it does not allow any other power to try that.
Guterres appreciated Russia’s engagement with the UN regarding the Syria talks. He highlighted the key subjects of the 12-point final Sochi statement, saying that the document embraced a vision of Syria for all its citizens and underlined the need for the formation of a Constitutional Committee under UN auspices.
Putin is getting ready for March elections, and Erdogan could call for early elections this coming summer. The partnership between the two men and the seemingly converging interests of the two countries constitute a strong connection to the domestic political calculations of both strongmen.
Syria is likely to return to normalcy without or with Assad in power who got thousands killed in order for his own survival by the invading foreign forces, by the Opposition forces and by his own forces. Unlike President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Col Gaddafi, Sunni leaders whom USA murdered mercilessly, Assad is lucky to survive the US led attacks so mainly because the CIA does not target his life. USA has not decided to murder him thus far and so he would still survive. The USA remains merciful to him. Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible, you know!.