Monday, January 02, 2017

Syria Ceasefire Documents

Syria Ceasefire Documents

by Stephen Lendman

Putin’s announced ceasefire is the most hopeful conflict resolution prospect after nearly six years of Obama’s war, using terrorists as imperial foot soldiers.

Later January peace talks will follow in Astana, Kazakhstan, then further ones in Geneva under UN auspices next month if things go as planned. All groups genuinely interested in conflict resolution are welcome to participate.

Ending war in Syria depends largely on Trump’s intentions. Will he continue Obama’s imperial agenda or go another way? It may be some time after he enters office before it’s known.

He’s facing enormous pressure to continue America’s war on humanity. If he chooses a different geopolitical agenda, it’ll represent a historic change in US foreign policy - at least as long as he has the courage to pursue it while managing to avoid impeachment or worse, possible assassination.

Below are the Syria ceasefire documents.

“Statement on establishing the ceasefire regime in the Syrian Arab Republic 

With a view to fostering the necessary conditions for establishing a direct political dialogue among all conflicting parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as reducing violence, preventing casualties among civilians and providing unhindered humanitarian access, the Russian Federation, guided by the provisions of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), proposes to establish a ceasefire regime throughout Syria (excluding areas of combat operations against the terrorist groups Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Nusrah Front) from 00:00 hours on 30 December 2016 (Damascus time).

From that time onward, all armed groups of opposing sides and their supporting forces are invited to make the following commitments:

To cease attacks with any weapons, including rockets, mortars and anti-tank guided missiles, and to cease using combat air forces.

To refrain from seizing or seeking to seize territory occupied by other parties to the ceasefire;
To use proportionate retaliatory force (only to the extent necessary for protection against an immediate threat) for self-defence purposes.

The Russian Federation urges the Government of Syria, armed opposition groups supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict and not affiliated with international terrorist organizations, and States with an influence on the parties to the conflict, to accede to the proposed terms of the ceasefire.

Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey

Turkey has been undertaking intensive efforts to end the violence and begin the flow of humanitarian aid in Syria and for the resumption of talks between the regime and the opposition for a comprehensive political solution of the Syrian conflict.

As a result of our efforts, the warring parties in Syria have reached an understanding on a country-wide ceasefire that will go into effect at 00:00 on 30 December 2016. We welcome this development.

Terrorist organizations designated by the United Nations Security Council as such are excluded from this ceasefire.

Turkey and the Russian Federation support this understanding as guarantors.
The parties, with this understanding, are committed to cease all armed, including aerial, attacks and to refrain from expanding the territories under their control at the expense of one another.

Adherence of all parties to this ceasefire is crucial. Turkey and Russia strongly support and will jointly monitor the ceasefire.

The support of the countries with influence on the parties on the ground in sustaining the ceasefire will also be vital.

Turkey played the decisive role in completion of humanitarian evacuations in Aleppo a few days ago and in ensuring the entry of force of the country-wide ceasefire, as of tomorrow.

Hopeful that, with the full observance of the ceasefire to realize a genuine political transition, based on the Geneva communiqué and Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), the regime and the opposition will soon meet in Astana, with the presence of the guarantor countries, to take concrete steps towards revitalizing the United Nations-led political process. Turkey will continue her efforts to that end incessantly.

Agreement on the mechanism to record violations of the ceasefire regime declared in Syria that will take effect on 30 December 2016, and on the regime for applying sanctions to violators
The Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey.

Assuming obligations as Guarantors (in the parts designated to each) of the ceasefire regime in Syria that will take effect on 30 December 2016.

Bearing in mind that Syrian armed opposition groups (hereinafter - the Opposition) and the Government of Syria consent to the drafting and adoption of a separate document - an Agreement on the mechanism to record violations of the ceasefire regime declared in Syria that will take effect on December 2016 and on the regime for applying sanctions against violators.

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1. Joint Commission

1. The Guarantors shall establish a Joint Commission that shall serve as the main body to consider all complaints and issues related to violations of the ceasefire regime.

2. The Joint Commission:

(a) Shall administer the activities of checkpoints to monitor compliance with the ceasefire regime by parties to the Syrian crisis (hereinafter - the Parties).

(b) Shall submit proposals to the Parties to hold to account persons guilty of violating the ceasefire regime, and shall also submit proposals to the Guarantors on imposing sanctions on violating parties.

3. Russian and Turkish offices of the Joint Commission shall be located in Moscow and Ankara respectively.

The Guarantors shall establish a direct communication channel between the offices.

Article 2. Checkpoints

1. With a view to recording violations by the Parties to the ceasefire regime, the Guarantors shall establish checkpoints in residential areas in the vicinity of the actual line of contact among the Parties in order to guarantee compliance with the ceasefire regime by the Parties.

Article 3. Imposition of sanctions on violating Parties

1. The Guarantors shall undertake all possible measures to resolve differences among the Parties on compliance with the ceasefire regime and the resolution of conflicts among them.

2. Should the Parties fail to reach agreement, the Joint Commission shall send to the violating Party a demand to cease the violations and to take measures to compensate the affected Party for harm inflicted on its population and infrastructure. If the demand is not complied with, the Guarantors shall apply enforcement measures to the violating Party.

Article 4. Final Provisions

1. This Agreement is concluded for the duration of the ceasefire regime.

2. The Guarantors agree to draft and sign thereafter an expanded version of this Agreement that will elaborate on its provisions.

3. Done at Ankara on 29 December 2016 in three copies, having equal legal force, each in the Russian, Turkish and Arabic languages.

Agreement on establishing delegations to launch negotiations on a political settlement aimed at a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis by peaceful means
The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, having declared a ceasefire in Syria on 30 December 2016.

Confirms that there is no alternative to a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis and that there is a need to launch a political process in Syria pursuant to Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

Acknowledging the need to fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, safeguard the interests of the Syrian people, cease the bloodshed and guarantee national security, and seeking early stabilization in the country in coordination with the representatives of the Russian Federation, hereinafter - the Guarantor:

1. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic shall commit to form a delegation, prior to 31 December 2016, to pursue negotiations on a political settlement. 

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic shall determine the composition of the Delegation independently.

2. The Delegation shall begin joint work with the Delegation of the opposing side on 15 January, 2017, which shall take place in the city of Astana (Republic of Kazakhstan) with the participation of the United Nations.

3. The outcome of the joint work of both Delegations shall serve as a basis for elaborating, no later than __ _______ 2017, a road map to resolve the internal political crisis in Syria.

4. The work of both Delegations shall be conducted with the support of the Guarantor.

5. This Agreement shall enter into force at the time of signature by the plenipotentiary representative of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and shall become legally binding provided that an agreement with similar contents to this Agreement is signed by representatives of the opposing side, with the participation of the Russian Federation. 

The Guarantor shall inform the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic about the signature of such an Agreement in the shortest possible time.
Subsequently, both Agreements shall be considered by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the opposing side, and also by the Guarantor, as a single document regarding the establishment of delegations for the launch of negotiations on a political settlement aimed at a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis by peaceful means.
Done at Damascus on _ December 2016 in two copies, having equal legal force, each in the Russian and Arabic languages.

Agreement on establishing delegations to launch negotiations on a political settlement aimed at a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis by peaceful means
The leaders of Syrian armed opposition groups, hereinafter — the Opposition.

Support the ceasefire regime declared in Syria on 30 December 2016 and accede thereto.

Confirm that there is no alternative to a comprehensive political settlement of the Syrian crisis and that the launch of a political process in Syria must be expedited, as stipulated in the Geneva Communique (2012) and in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

Acknowledge full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and the need to safeguard the interests of the Syrian people, cease the bloodshed and enable a State that represents all Syrian people to exercise its authority.

Declare a comprehensive commitment to swiftly stabilizing the situation in the country, with the participation of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey as Guarantors (hereinafter — the Guarantors), and

Agree as follows:

1. By 16 January 2017, the Opposition, with the direct participation of the Guarantors, shall commit to establishing a delegation to pursue negotiations on a political settlement, aimed at a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis by peaceful means (hereinafter — the Delegation).

The Opposition shall independently determine the composition of the Delegation.

2. The Delegation shall begin joint work with the Delegation of the opposing side, from 23 January 2017, which shall take place in the city of Astana (Republic of Kazakhstan) with the participation of the United Nations.

3. Based on the outcome of the joint work of both Delegations, a road map shall be drawn up as soon as possible to resolve the Syrian crisis.

4. The work of both Delegations shall be carried out with support of the Guarantors.

5. This Agreement shall enter into force at the time of signature by the Opposition and shall become legally binding provided that an agreement with similar contents to this Agreement is signed by a representative of the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic with the participation of the Russian Federation. The Guarantors shall inform the Opposition about the signature of such an Agreement in the shortest possible time.

Subsequently, both Agreements shall be considered by the Opposition and the Government of Syria, as well as the Guarantors, as a single document - an Agreement on establishing delegations to launch negotiations on a political settlement aimed at a comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis by peaceful means.


Done at Ankara on 29 December 2016 in three copies, having equal legal force, each in the Russian, Turkish and Arabic languages.”