Nov 3, 2019, 4:40 PM
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Astana talks help restore stability to Syria

Tehran, Nov 3, IRNA - Middle East Analyst Hossein Ajarlu said on Sunday that the Astana Peace Process is the only successful summit which can help resolve the Syrian crisis through diplomatic means.

The Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Turkish Republic as guarantors of the Astana Framework held a trilateral meeting in Geneva on Tuesday and made consultations with Geir Pederson, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Syria.

The Foreign Ministers of the three countries have emphasized the five axes regarding Syria, which are: 1- Reaffirmed the firm commitment of the Astana guarantors to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and emphasized that these principles should be respected by all sides. They reiterated their strong efforts to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and to confront the separatist agenda on the Syrian land. 2. Welcomed the constitutional committee and its commencement in Geneva on October 30 as the result of effective assistance to secure the Astana and implement the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, and commended the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative in Syria. 4. Expressing its belief that the constitutional committee's inception confirms that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, reaffirms its commitment to the continued, sustained Syrian-Syrian political process by the United Nations' facilitation in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

IRNA in an interview with Hossein Ajarlu, Middle East affairs expert discussed the issues related to the Astana peace process.

At the beginning of the interview, Ajarlou said that from early stages of the crisis in Syria, the Astana peace process has been the only fruitful negotiations. Trends followed by the United Nations and Western countries have not had much success in reducing the Syrian crisis. The Astana peace process was the only successful move that was able to reduce some of the tensions and to some extent control the crisis. These meetings are now reflecting the success of the Astana peace process, as it brought together actors who are more accustomed to the developments in the Syrian crisis. Iran, Turkey and Russia are key players in resolving the Syrian crisis. Syria trusts the two governments of Iran and Russia and is making significant cooperation with these countries.

Given the developments in Syria on the Astana peace process, we have seen a decrease in tensions in the region and a moderation in the demands of both sides. Under the current conditions of Turkey, based on its own interests, it embarked on an adventure and movement in northern Syria, and despite threats and agreements were reached but an important factor that led Turkey to modify its policies in northern Syria was the active role of Russia in the internal developments in Syria.

The Middle East expert noted that it seems that the Astana peace process is working well and could reduce international levels of the Syrian crisis. The recent summit is actually indicating the effectiveness of this process and can do more successfully. The Islamic Republic's policy since the beginning of the Syrian crisis has so far focused on maintaining its territorial integrity. The Russian government has also favored Syria's sovereignty over its territorial integrity, but Turkey has pursued a different policy in the Syrian crisis and has faced a challenge called the Kurdish issues. At the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Turkey faced the challenge of changing the Syrian political system, but gradually this challenge changed and the Kurdish crisis became more widespread.

It seems that the Turkish government does not tolerate any kind of Kurdish political units on its southern borders. In the current situation, Turkey is aware of the size of its operations in northern Syria that it cannot achieve its ultimate goals, and by participating in the Astana peace process somehow wants to present the Kurdish issue as a challenge to the country to settle with three countries Iran, Russia and Syria. Under the current circumstances, the Turks are satisfied that the Syrian government will restore its sovereignty in the Kurdish regions and provide conditions that will serve the interests of both Turkey and Syria.

The change in Turkish foreign policy is not a matter of Erdogan's internal acceptance of the Syrian developments and is a kind of geopolitical obligation for Turkey, he said. Turkey will make tough security decisions with any Kurdish political system. Erdogan is in the midst of a choice between grappling with the Kurds or recognizing the Syrian political system. If the areas of Turkey that seek to create a safe zone are handed over to the Syrian government, the Turkish government will be relieved of the pressure of the new political unit and reduce its military spending in those areas.

Kurds have strong lobbies and media in the US and Europe and can pose serious challenges to Erdogan by discussing human rights abuses. In the current situation, Erdogan accepts the restoration of the Syrian government and enters into negotiations to facilitate this process with the cooperation of Iran and the Russians.

At the end of the interview on the Syrian constitution, Ajarlu said that the Syrian constitution process somehow embraces the opposition of the Syrian government and organizes the protests. Although there is no constitutional change, there are legal rights for the opposition. The Syrian political system is stabilizing and the opposition has no choice but to accept it. Proponents of the Syrian opposition also acknowledged that the Syrian political system had been regulated and that a quadruple summit of Iran, Turkey, Russia and the UN envoy could now help bring peace to Syria.


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