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A chance for peace in Syria (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

Peace talks between Russia, Turkey and Iran:
The coming together of Russia, Turkey and Iran to discuss a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis is a welcome development.

Committed will of nations to resolve the tensions in Syria in Moscow Summit:
They decided to go ahead with Moscow summit despite the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, the previous day, demonstrates their commitment to stay the course, something that was missing in previous efforts. Washington has been kept out of both the deliberations on the Aleppo evacuations and the Moscow conference.

Failed attempt of Russia and US to resolve the Syria issue:
The last time Russia and the U.S. reached an agreement, in September 2016, there had been great hope that they could mentor a sustainable ceasefire. But within days of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announcing the deal, the American-led coalition killed dozens of Syrian soldiers.

The wider bilateral tensions between Moscow and Washington were also an impediment to finding a breakthrough in Syria.

Russia, Iran represents the Syrian regime whereas Turkey backs the militants:
Russia and Iran have direct leverage over the regime in Syria, while Turkey still helps several militant groups.

Reason for the active involvement of Turkey in Summit:
Turkey faces severe security challenges, from both Islamic State jihadists and Kurdish militants. If Syria remains at war and the instability spawns more radical militia groups, it could worsen Turkey’s security problems, while Kurds on the Syrian side could grow in strength.

The recent improvement in relations between Ankara and Moscow, which had hit a low after Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft last year, has also helped get the peace process going. But this convergence of interest for both sides in stabilizing Syria doesn’t mean that peace is within reach.

Relevance of involvement of Tukey in Peace talks:
Turkey is only one of the countries backing the rebels. The others include Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan, all allies of the U.S. The Saudis were instrumental in ending the civil war in Lebanon in 1989. Like Lebanon, Syria too is a regional problem that needs a regional solution. For this, Arab stakeholders may have to give up their ‘Assad-must-go’ precondition and join the peace process, as Turkey did.

 



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