Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Key powers push Syria truce as regime, opposition make no progress   

Arab News - 17 February, 2017

Syrian regime and opposition representatives failed Thursday to make any breakthroughs at talks in Kazakhstan, as key powerbrokers Russia, Turkey and Iran sought to shore up a shaky cease-fire.

The meeting was the second time key players Moscow, Tehran and Ankara have brought the warring sides to the Kazakh capital of Astana, and comes ahead of a new round of UN-led talks on Syria in Geneva on Feb. 23.

But the government delegation and opposition fighters again did not hold one-on-one talks and no joint statement was agreed after a final 40-minute meeting involving all the parties.

Instead regime allies Russia and Iran and opposition supporter Turkey followed up an earlier pledge by agreeing to set up a joint monitoring group to try to ensure a fragile six-week truce in the war-torn country

“The question of observing the cease-fire is being solved and we are hopeful to solve political questions too,” Russian mediator Alexander Lavrentiev said.

Lead opposition negotiator Mohammad Alloush said that the meeting “did not achieve anything practical” but claimed the armed opposition received several pledges from Moscow.

Russia promised to stop shelling opposition areas and to help push for the release of political prisoners, he said, as well as to send a “schedule” for the end of a regime seige around Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

Main backer Russia has billed the talks in Astana as a prelude to the upcoming UN negotiations in Switzerland, despite speculation that it was trying to sideline the West with the latest initiative.

Moscow has increasingly taken the lead on pushing talks over Syria after its military intervention on the side of leader Bashar Assad helped turn the tables in the protracted conflict.

“The Astana meeting has paved the way for the next Geneva conference,” lead Syrian regime negotiator Bashar Al-Jaafari said, blaming Turkey and opposition fighters it backs for the failure to produce a final statement.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari said that the sides were at “the beginning of a difficult road.”

Ansari, who led his country’s delegation, said the sides would meet again in “less than a month” in either Astana, Moscow, Tehran or Ankara.

A first set of talks on Syria that took place in Astana in January saw the opposition fighters refuse to talk directly to the regime and did not result in any significant breakthrough.

Before the Astana talks began, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura was in Moscow for talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“Now is the right time to step up efforts to normalize the political process in Syria,” de Mistura told Lavrov in comments translated into Russian by the state-run TASS news agency.

In Damascus, Assad showed no sign he was ready for concessions as he gave an interview to French media on Thursday.

He said his goal was to retake “every inch of Syrian territory.” Such was the “duty of any government,” he told Europe 1 radio and the TF1 and LCI television channels.
 
  Other Top News
Washington changes rules of engagement for Mosul fight
US Army Lt. Col. James Browning juggled phone calls on an overstuffed sofa in a small village south of Mosul. His counterparts in the Iraqi Army's 9th Division were pushing toward western Mosul, just a few miles away and were coming under..
Suicide bomber kills five at gate of Yemen army base
A suicide bomber killed five people and wounded three on Friday when he blew up his vehicle at the gate of a Yemeni army base, security sources said...
Over 50 dead in Syria Car bomb attack
An Islamic State car bomb killed more than 50 people yesterday in a Syrian village held by rebels, a war monitor said, a day after the jihadist group was driven from its last stronghold in the area...
IAEA still verifying no undeclared nuclear materials used in Iran
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said its inspectors were verifying there were no undeclared nuclear materials in Iran's nuclear facilities...
Qatar supports UN counter-terrorism efforts
Qatar's permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani said that the country remains committed to all the UN's counter-terrorism efforts...
UNSC renews mandates of Yemen's sanctions committee, panel of experts
UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2342 renewing the mandates of Yemen's sanctions committee and the Panel of Experts...
Saudi Minister in talks with Iranian team over Haj
Saudi Arabia discussed the possibility of Iranian pilgrims rejoining the Haj pilgrimage. The issue came up for discussions during talks in Jeddah between Minister of Haj and Umrah Muhammad Bantan and an Iranian delegation late Thursday...
Sun Feb 26, 2017| 29-جماد أول-1438هـ
Syria expands anti-Daesh operations
Riyadh celebrates first Saudi Women's Day
UAE summons Iran's diplomat
Trump turns up the heat on Iran, but no clear game plan yet
Qatar tops world in BMI index for investment attractiveness
Qaeda kills Yemen police, targeted in US raid
Iran targets $8.6bn of refinery deals with Asia firms
UN chief: Syria dialogue must focus on transition for success
US President Trump strongly supports Iraq - envoy
DGCX traded 1.37m contracts valued at $33b in January
Iran rejects 'baseless' warning from US on missile test
GCC consumers spend $9.3 billion on beauty, personal care products
HM King hails parliament's role
Saudi sentenced 7 years in prison for entering Syria, joining Al-Nusra
AD CP, Emir of Qatar discuss ties
  Op-Ed
Trump versus Iran: Mixing up the issues
Is it possible to create safe zones in Syria?
More>>  
    Reports
NBK Report on oil markets
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 2Q16
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
UAE'S NON-OIL TRADE HITS DHS1.2 TRILLION
The Benefits of NATO-GCC Strategic Ties
The GCC and the EU's New Global Strategy
    GRC Commentary
Climate COP 22 in Marrakech Important for the Region
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries
Salalah: The Economic Development and Spatial Fragmentation of a Globalized Port City in Southern Oman
Oil in the GCC Countries
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
GRC Publication
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   18-- 18 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 18 - 18-nonexist-en--sess-enreq-en-coming