Syrian Opposition Groups Invited to Moscow
by Stephen Lendman
Ahead of next month’s continued peace talks in Geneva next, Sergey Lavrov invited representatives from Syrian opposition groups to meet with him in Moscow on January 27.
Earlier in Astana, Kazakhstan, head of Russia’s delegation to peace talks, Alexander Lavrentyev, indicated they’d be coming.
The Astana meeting established a mechanism to monitor ceasefire, prelude to more substantive talks in Geneva, possibly as early as February 8.
Some reports indicated later in the month. It’s unknown if groups not in Astana will be attending. ISIS and al-Nusra are excluded. Combating them continues.
On Wednesday, Lavrov said besides “direct contacts between the Syrian government and representatives of the armed opposition, our delegation, which included representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry, also held several direct meetings with representatives of the armed opposition, discussing with them the prospects of joint fight against terrorism in Syria, above all, the IS.”
“That is, the Syrian government, the Russian Aerospace Forces and armed opposition groups are essentially ready to pool efforts and carry out strikes against IS positions in Syria’s regions that are still under their control.”
Commenting on the just concluded Astana meeting, Lavrov optimistically said its results achieved a “new level” of efforts to try resolving Syria’s long-running conflict.
Moscow is increasing cooperation with Iran and Turkey - hopefully Washington joining in if Trump keeps his promise to combat ISIS (and by inference other terrorist groups) jointly with Moscow.
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."
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