Thursday, December 29, 2016

Putin Announces Ceasefire in Syria

Putin Announces Ceasefire in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Designated terrorist groups are excluded. Combating them continues until Syria is free from their scourge. 

On December 29, Vladimir Putin said “(r)eports have just arrived that several hours ago there was a development that we all have looked and worked for for so long.”

“Three documents have been signed. A ceasefire between the Syrian government and the armed opposition is the one. A package of measures to control the ceasefire is the other. There is also a declaration of readiness to enter peace talks on Syrian conflict settlement.”

“No doubt, the agreements reached are fragile and demand special attention and assistance with the goal of preservation and development.” 

“But nevertheless, this is a notable result of our joint work, efforts of the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and our partners in the regions.”

“They did a very great job jointly with partners from Turkey. We know that most recently a trilateral meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran was held in Moscow where the three countries undertook commitments both on control and guarantees of peaceful settlement in the Syrian Republic.”

“As we understand very well, all the agreements reached are very fragile, they demand special attention and patience, a professional approach to these issues and a constant contact with our partners.”

A trilateral Russia, Iran, Turkey alliance for peace is the most hopeful possible conflict resolution sign since Obama launched naked aggression in March 2011.

As long as he remains in office, it’s unattainable. Trump citing trillions of dollars wasted on endless wars, creating a Middle East “mess,” perhaps indicates he’s willing to cooperate with the trilateral partners in restoring peace to war-torn Syria.

He called Obama’s regime change policy a failure, opposes supporting Middle East terrorists, vowed to combat them cooperatively with Russia - a good thing, to coin his phrase, if he follows through responsibly.

Liberating Aleppo was a major turning point toward ending conflict altogether, though it won’t  come easily or quickly - if US-led NATO’s not on board, not at all for the foreseeable future.

According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, ceasefire is supported by over 60,000 fighters from opposition groups - ISIS, al-Nusra and other designated terrorist ones excluded.

If cessation of hostilities holds in various parts of the country, Russia intends scaling back its aerial operations, Shoigu added.

Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers will meet in Astana, Kazakhstan ahead of peace talks, hopefully able to succeed this time.

According to Sergey Lavrov, a draft Security Council resolution is being prepared, affirming the ceasefire agreement. “We will inform (SC) members of the work we have done and answer their questions,” he explained.

Russia, Turkey and Iran will act as ceasefire guarantors - scheduled to begin at midnight local time on December 30.

It’ll take time to see if it’s working after many previous failed attempts, along with near-certain US efforts to obstruct things during Obama’s final days in office, complicit with his rogue allies.

Putin’s announcement is good news. Russia remains committed to achieve cessation of hostilities and conflict resolution.

If Erdogan is on board, a big if, and if Trump intends war on terrorism cooperatively with Russia, abandoning Washington’s regime change agenda, the biggest if, all things positive are possible.

Sergey Lavrov expressed hope that “after the Donald Trump administration takes office, it will also be able to join these efforts.” What a refreshing change if things turn out this way.

Still, with neocon lunatics infesting Washington and other key NATO capitals, plans with good intentions can be torn asunder, reversing hard-won gains to square one.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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