A Message from Astana
The preliminary results of the Astana meeting confirm new progress in this trajectory; on the one hand, by making firm and consolidated what has been agreed upon previously, through expanding the circle of participants from the regional forces in attending these meetings as observers, and on the other hand, by creating the conditions for further progress on the path of the political process.
In concrete terms, this creative path has driven millions of Syrians and large areas of the country out of the arena of military operations, and has confirmed the possibility of an intra-Syrian understanding, that isolates hardliners, extremists, takfiris and terrorists, if there are serious guarantors. It also shows the possibility of delivering relief materials to the besieged areas, and connecting the regions of the country. The success of this round of Astana negotiations also served as a practical response to the hardline forces in the Riyadh platform, who have repeated their preconditions for the negotiating process, thus prevented the process of forming one delegations of the Syrian opposition in the Riyadh meeting.
Despite the importance of all of the above, the most important aspect is that this progress in terms of the military-field reality, and this regional, international and internal unanimity, must be translated into a new breakthrough in the Geneva negotiations scheduled for next October. The consensus between the military personnel should logically be reflected in a consensus between politicians, which should, in turn, be reflected in the upcoming round, by removing all of the remaining obstacles, especially the formation of one delegation on a consensual basis of implementing the resolution 2254, and to put an end to the jurisprudences and interpretations, advanced from any party, which are contradictory to the spirit of this resolution. It is to be started from a reality that takes hold day after day, namely: There is no room for any party to waste more time; neither the sufferings of the Syrians permit such a room, nor the determination of the international community to reach the desired solution as soon as possible. The provided duration of the implementation of the De-escalation Zones Agreement is six months. What is required from the Syrian national political forces is to rise to the level of pains of the Syrians, and the dangers that threaten the country, and accelerate the completion of what is required of them in this context, and not to hide behind the humanitarian disaster to stagger in those same positions that brought the country to what it reached.
There is no doubt that this progress is a natural result of the new regional and international climate, which surrounds the Syrian crisis, which is characterized by the unanimity of all on the political solution as the only solution, after the great diplomatic and military effort of the Russian Federation supported by all the ascending powers, consolidating its positions, and that refutes concretely the whole black media campaign against it, and proves its ability to put the locomotive of the political solution on the right track, away from the logic of authoritarianism, acquisition and control, which prevailed in the phase of the unilateral American monopoly of the international decision.
Kassioun Editorial, Issue No 828, September 17, 2017.