Turkey: Putin meets Assad ahead of Syria talks with Turkey and Iran
SOCHI (Russia): Russian President Vladimir Putin met with embattled Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Sochi forward of talks on Wednesday with leaders from Turkey and Iran geared toward re-booting the peace course of within the conflict-torn nation.
The Kremlin mentioned Monday’s assembly within the Black Sea resort of Sochi got here throughout a “working go to” by Assad to Russia.
Putin praised Assad for “preventing terrorism,” which he predicted would endure an “inevitable” defeat in Syria, the Kremlin mentioned.
“It’s in our curiosity to advance the political course of… we do not need to look again and we’re prepared for dialogue with all those that need to provide you with a political settlement,” Assad mentioned in translated feedback.
Putin mentioned he would “seek the advice of” world leaders, together with US president Donald Trump, on his talks with Assad. Putin’s phone talks with Trump are due on Tuesday, the Kremlin mentioned.
On Wednesday, the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet for the primary of a collection of summits to carry peace in Syria, the place regime forces now have an higher hand over rebels and the Islamic State group.
Putin will host Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani in Sochi forward of parallel UN-led talks in Geneva set for November 28.
The assembly — the primary such three-way summit between the trio — comes as Ankara, Moscow and Tehran cooperate with rising depth on ending the over six-year civil battle in Syria that has left 330,000 lifeless and hundreds of thousands homeless.
The cooperation comes regardless of Turkey nonetheless formally being on an reverse facet of the Syria battle from Russia and Iran, that are key Assad backers.
Turkey has supported rebels in search of Assad’s ouster however has muted its criticism of the Syrian regime.
“The open-war part within the Syria battle will quickly be over and the query of a political answer will turn into extra urgent than earlier than,” Russian political analyst Azhdar Kurtov instructed AFP.
“Russia, Iran and Turkey every have their very own curiosity in Syria. It’s clear that additionally they have disagreements. And they’re assembly to attempt to easy over these disagreements,” he mentioned.
The three nations have backed negotiations within the Kazakh capital Astana which have introduced collectively the representatives of the opposition and the regime seven instances this 12 months.
The talks have led the creation of 4 so-called “de-escalation zones” which have produced a drop in violence, however sporadic preventing and bombardment has continued.
Moscow is now in search of to steer the method, which has to date centered on navy questions, in a political path.
The Sochi summit will assist to “relaunch direct negotiations between the Syrian authorities and the vary of the opposition”, mentioned Russian Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“As a victory over Islamic State in Syria…grows nearer, there are circumstances for the relaunch of political negotiations,” he mentioned Friday.
Moscow’s navy intervention in Syria from 2015 is broadly seen as tipping the stability within the battle.
Since then the Syrian military has reclaimed the traditional metropolis of Palmyra from the Islamic State group and pushed rebels out of their northern bastion Aleppo.
This week regime forces ousted the Islamic State group from its final city stronghold within the nation, Albu Kamal, which has modified palms a number of instances.
Earlier makes an attempt to finish the battle have stalled over the query of the destiny of Assad.
However Turkey is exhibiting better flexibility on that difficulty, even when it stays unlikely that it’ll formally settle for the prospect of the Syrian president remaining in energy, mentioned Timur Akhmetov, an Ankara-based Turkey knowledgeable on the Russian Worldwide Affairs Council.
“For now, to maintain a say sooner or later political negotiations is extra vital for Turkey than to have Assad departed from energy,” he instructed AFP.
The final try by Moscow to carry collectively the regime and the opposition in Russia was coldly obtained by the rebels and no date has been fastened for a gathering which was initially set for November 18.
Totally different factions of the Syrian opposition will meet from Wednesday in Riyadh in talks hosted by Saudi Arabia.
The goal of the Saudi-backed Excessive Negotiations Committee is to achieve consensus on a method for talks in Geneva, which can concentrate on a brand new structure for Syria and contemporary elections.