The Russian Defense Minister’s View on #Syria

Eldorar Alshamia Editor | 24 May, 2017

ElDorar AlShamia:

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Schweiger has outlined the next stage in Syria and the next steps in the Geneva and Astana talks as well by setting up the agreement of", the "de-escalation zones" and the drafting of a new constitution for the country.

“The upcoming rounds in Astana will discuss the issue of reducing the escalation. The next rounds in Geneva will discuss the issue of the new Syrian constitution” the minister said, while he did not comment on the refusal of the revolutionary forces and the Syrian opposition to both issues before ensuring a real political transition leading to Assad's removal from power.

Safe corridors on the borders of" de-escalation zones"

“The participants in the next round of negotiations in Astana, scheduled for early July, will have to ratify the document on safe corridors, which should be extended to the borders of the areas of tension relief”, Schweiger said.

According to Russian proposals, the depth of these safe passages should be one kilometer, adding that Moscow hoped the next Astana meeting would succeed in coordinating the maps.

He pointed out that reaching a special memorandum on the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria was not easy, but he positively assessed the joint work with Turkey, Jordan and Iran in this context. He stressed that he is working constructively with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to set the south region as part of the de-escalation agreement.

He said that the forces that will deploy in safe zones to control them as well as to monitor the mechanism for responding to ceasefire violations, must be identified.

Homs, Hama, Damascus and Daraa out of the agreement!

The Russian air force continued to bombard mentioned areas above despite the agreement  went into force and the Assad forces and their supporting militias continued to attack on.

The UN-Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said in a statement yesterday that "clashes" are still ongoing there, considering that those areas are not covered by the agreement "apparently."

Moscow justified its attack on those areas arguing that "Jabhat al-Nusra" is still there, giving it the justification to attack any of those places in Syria.

It is the new constitution that determines the future of the country

In a statement to the Russian State Duma, Schweiger said that negotiations in Geneva had achieved the maximum possible fulfillments in the current context, stressing on the need to start hard work either in Geneva or in Astana, to draft the new Syrian constitution which determines the future of the country.

De Mistura took up the task of discussing the Russian proposal on the new constitution with a delegation of the revolutionary and opposition forces in Geneva.

The Russians insist on turning negotiations in Geneva into meetings to discuss amending the constitution, ignoring direct talk of political transition, and categorically rejecting Assad's removal.

The Russian Defense Minister said that as well as these efforts, the principles of the Constitution itself, a mechanism to adopt it, and a mechanism for the election of the Parliament and the leadership of the country must be discussed.

Schweiger had revealed a short visit paid by the chief of staff of Russia yesterday evening to Damascus and left at dawn today..





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