Friday, February 24, 2017

Geneva IV Peace Talks on Syria Off to a Rocky Start

Geneva IV Peace Talks on Syria Off to a Rocky Start

by Stephen Lendman

On Thursday, Syria’s delegation faced off against US-supported terrorist groups wanting its legitimate government toppled. 

Both sides are nowhere near resolving differences between them after three previous failed rounds. Two sessions in Astana, Kazakhstan this year achieved little.

Geneva IV may turn out no better. It’s unclear whether Trump wants continued war or resolution. Israel abhors the latter, wanting Assad toppled. 

NATO countries remain hostile to his government. So do Turkey, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and Jordan - not a prescription for ending six devastating years of conflict.

On Thursday, Saudi cobbled together opposition terrorist delegates called for Assad’s immediate resignation - a nonstarter, a hostile demand getting talks off to a rocky start.

Russia’s envoy to Geneva negotiations Alexey Borodavkin called the opposition’s demand absurd, an unacceptable precondition. 

He called Trump’s security zone scheme unclear, adding “it is necessary to address the Syrian government and to ask whether it agrees to have some security zones organized in its territory.”

He cited “an endless list of questions (and) problems,” adding he’s seen no concrete proposal.

Last week in Bonn, Germany, Sergey Lavrov discussed this topic with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, saying:

“We await further clarification. We believe that such initiatives should take into account the situation on the ground in Syria, where many players are at work, so to speak, with their ground forces, as well as in the Syrian airspace.” 

“Naturally, our position is that any such initiatives regarding Syria’s territory should be coordinated with (its) government. Otherwise it will be difficult to implement these steps.” 

Russia opposes foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs. Lavrov awaits clarity on whether Washington intends cooperating with Russia in combating terrorism and resolving Syria’s conflict.

So far, indications aren’t encouraging. Washington’s Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria operations have nothing to with liberating these cities from ISIS control.

Their aim is mass slaughter and destruction of vital infrastructure, civilians mostly harmed, countless numbers killed or injured, similar operations going on in other parts of both countries, ignored by media scoundrels.

So-called Mosul and Raqqa “liberating” battles are US deceptions, discussed in previous articles. At the same time, reports suggest Trump ordered the CIA to stop arming so-called rebels in Syria.

No explanation was given. Is it a temporary or permanent halt? Is it only for some terrorists, not others? Are weapons and other support still flowing to ISIS and al-Nusra? 

All these groups are US-led NATO foot soldiers, created and armed to serve its imperial agenda, supported throughout years of conflict in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Until more information is known, it’s unclear what Washington is up to. Obama’s wars continue raging, Trump giving no indication of halting them.

Appointing hawkish generals to run America’s defense, national and homeland security suggests a continuation of earlier policies - not an encouraging sign.

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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