Russia and Turkey Agree on Syria Ceasefire
by Stephen Lendman
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu (press) Agency, Moscow and Ankara agreed on cessation of hostilities in Syria in all areas with no jihadist presence.
It’s effective at midnight on December 29, based on provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 - calling for ceasefire and diplomatic conflict resolution.
It excludes continuing anti-terrorism operations against ISIS, al-Nusra and likeminded groups. If implemented, conflict resolution talks will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan - Moscow and Ankara acting as guarantors of any agreement reached.
Last week, Moscow hosted a trilateral Russia, Iran and Turkey meeting, their foreign ministers agreeing to work cooperatively toward resolving conflict in Syria diplomatically.
Sergey Lavrov called the format “the most effective one,” saying he and his Iranian and Turkish counterparts agreed on the urgency of “terminat(ing) violence, combat operations, unhampered delivery of humanitarian aid and the start of an inclusive political process incorporating all Syrian parties concerned without any preconditions.”
“Regretably…our (international) counterparts” seem bent on polar opposite policies, favoring war, not resolution, he added.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said “experts are working on the text of the Moscow declaration on immediate steps toward resolving the Syrian crisis. This is a thorough, extremely necessary document.”
Previous efforts involving Washington, Britain and France failed, why their foreign ministers were excluded from talks in Moscow, as well as continuing ones.
Tass said Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu “held intense phone conversations devoted to (resolving) the Syrian crisis” - in preparation for meeting next month in Astana.
Cavusoglu separately spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. America’s involvement after Obama leaves office depends on whether Trump intends combating terrorism or continues support like the current administration.
Turkey agreed to cooperate with Russia and Iran against ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups it supported throughout years of war.
Erdogan has lots of proving to do given his deplorable actions so far. On Tuesday, he claimed “confirmed evidence,” showing Washington and its coalition partners support ISIS and other terrorist groups.
“They give support to terrorist groups including Daesh,” he said. “It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos.”
He remarks sound like the pot calling the kettle black. Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been Washington’s key allies in waging naked aggression on Syria, using imported terrorists as imperial foot soldiers.
Obama, the Saudis, Qataris, NATO and Israel remain committed to regime change. It’s unclear what Turkey intends given Erdogan’s hostility to Assad throughout nearly six years of war.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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