Russia Reaches Syria Cease-Fire Pact With Turkey—and the U.S. Had Nothing to Do With It
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that after negotiations in Moscow between his administration and its Turkish and Iranian counterparts, an accord regarding the war in Syria has been reached, establishing a fragile truce that, according to The New York Times represents “a potential turning point in a civil war that has lasted nearly six years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.” The cease-fire is to start at midnight in Syria (5 p.m. EST) and will be followed by peace talks between Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposing forces–though which rebel groups will be involved is unclear.
And though the United States apparently was not involved in the negotiations, Russia’s foreign minister has said President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will be invited to join the talks, as will Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.
“This is potentially a major change for international politics, anti-terrorism and peace. Give peace a chance!” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer wrote in a brief analysis sent to Truthdig staff. “If Trump gets behind this truce, he will start off on an incredibly important shift to a saner world. However, if he rejects it, as many Democrat and Republican leaders will urge, a huge possibility for a more peaceful world will be lost and American imperial hegemony will stay firmly on its destructive course.”
From CBC News:
[Putin] says [the truce] will be followed by peace talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the opposition, and that the Syrian parties would take part in talks to be held in Kazakhstan, without specifying a date.
“The agreements reached are, of course, fragile, need a special attention and involvement … But after all, this is a notable result of our joint work, efforts by the Defence and Foreign ministries, our partners in the regions,” Putin said. … Syria’s military said it had agreed to a nationwide ceasefire.
In a statement carried by Syrian state news agency SANA on Thursday, the military command “declares a comprehensive nationwide cessation of hostilities as of midnight.”
The news agency said the ceasefire paves the way for reactivating negotiations to end the conflict. … Ahmad Ramadan of the Syrian National Coalition, a main Syrian opposition group, said it supports the ceasefire. Ramadan said in text messages sent to The Associated Press that members of the Free Syrian Army, a loose alliance of several moderate rebel factions, would abide by the truce but retaliate to violations by government and allied forces.
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata
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