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Signs of solutions loom in Syria with fresh int'l approach in Astana

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-23 10:38

Signs of solutions loom in Syria with fresh int'l approach in Astana

Internally displaced Syrian children who fled Raqqa city stand near their tent in Ras al-Ain province, Syria January 22, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

DAMASCUS -- A face time between the rebels and the Syrian government will take place for the first time in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Monday to lay the foundation stone of the solution to the long-standing conflict in Syria.

The unprecedented vis-a-vis is the result of a fresh Turkish-Russian understanding, as Turkey negotiated on behalf of the rebels it's backing, while Russia for the Syrian government.

The deal between both powers was positively received by the conflicting parties, due to the confidence they have in their backers.


The first step for bringing the crisis to an end is to achieve and consolidate a ceasefire, which will be the cornerstone to any later solution, and categorizing the rebel groups, meaning that the terrorists must be detached from the moderate ones who seek a solution, is also as important.

With Turkey and Russia in play, it's highly likely that such a ceasefire will be more serious and real than previous failed attempts, as both powers have the means to make sure their allies on ground abide by the plan.

The main goal of the Astana talks which will start on Monday is to reinforce the ceasefire, which has been in place since Dec 30.

Bashar Jaafari, the permanent representative of Syria in the UN, and the current head of the government delegation to Astana, said the agenda of the meeting revolves fixating the cessation of hostilities in Syria, and categorizing the rebel groups, by separating rebels who agree to the talks from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) group, both designated as terrorist organizations that should be eradicated.

Also, Syria's Prime Minister Imad Khamis said Sunday that his government is serious about the imminent Syrian talks in Astana, noting that Damascus welcomes any initiative to restore peace.

The prime minister said the priority of the meeting is to kick the foreign terrorists out of Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that establishing a ceasefire in Syria is the priority of the negotiations in Astana.

He said the conference will be in the shape of negotiations between the government and the rebel groups to reach a ceasefire and allow the rebels to join the reconciliation deals with the government.

Analysts believe that the Russian-Turkish agreement will have more viable results, contrary to the previous Russian-American one, which failed as the United States failed to separate the rebels from the terrorist groups.

"I think now that Russia and Turkey are on the same page, a message that has been sent to the concerned rebel groups on ground that either you are involved in the solution, or accept a doomed fate," Maher Ihsan, a Syrian journalist and political analyst, told Xinhua.

It's now or never, as the conflict has been dragging on for nearly six years, and no winner has emerged, owing to the fact that only a political solution is the answer, he added.

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