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Sochi Summit ... a Large Step Forward
Today's summit in Sochi [17th September, 2018] between the Russian and Turkish presidents marked an important and significant step forward towards ending terrorism in Syria as well as towards consolidating the political solution to the crisis. The fourth de-escalation zone has gained greater momentum by becoming co-sponsored by Russia and Turkey, and this will help to get rid of the internationally classified terrorist groups more rapidly. This process will take place in accordance with new ways and methods different from what has been followed in other regions, for several considerations, the most important of which:
First: the large number of civilians, which exceeds two and a half million people according to the lowest estimates, and the presence of terrorist organizations which hides in their areas of assembly of these civilians.
Second: Within these civilians, a large number of those who left their areas in the south and Ghouta, and who were provided with guarantees for themselves and their families to maintain their security and settle their situation later.
Third: the new format with which Idlib will be dealt reflects, from one of its aspects, a new qualitative situation that condense in itself the real and tangible parallel between the war on terror and the launching of the political settlement process, which emerged in emphasizing the launching of the works of the Constitutional Committee at a time "very soon", as the Russian president said.
Fourth: Turkey's special situation in terms of the repercussions and consequences that this country could face in the event of a military operation in the manner that was followed in the south and the Ghouta in the first place, including the possibility of starting a large migration wave to Turkey from Idlib, as well as Turkey's concerns about its security, its economy and what could be exposed to due to such a wave, especially in the difficult economic situation currently experienced because of the US sanctions.
In conclusion, the situation agreed upon with regard to Idlib is a temporary one, and is governed by security and humanitarian conditions and does not affect the Syrian sovereignty at all, where everyone emphasizes the concern for the unity and sovereignty of the Syrian territories. In addition, the agreement was also coordinated with the Iranians and Syrians, whose relevant communication channels were used to contact with them today. Therefore, the fight against terrorism continues in substance, and is not a condition that it is strictly related to military action. There are other methods that are more complex and more suited to Idlib's special circumstances.
The previous factors, together, have led to a new agreement within the framework of Astana, which carries the same substance, but differs in the form and details of the application. It is a development of a series of previous solutions related to the de-escalation zones, and their antecedent measures, about which we have not heard anyone who said that they degraded the national sovereignty!
Understanding the concerns of the Turkish side and the consequences it can face is a serious gateway to resolve the situation in Idlib and to avoid the negative consequences. As well, the development of coordination with Turkey is of great importance in eradicating terrorism not only in the Syrian arena but also in the Middle East, because Turkey's historical position during the past hundred years within the western camp was inherently hostile to its own interests, to its people's interests, and to of the interests of the peoples of the region as a whole, and Turkey is now on the verge of a historical shift in its alignment, and this should be well received and encouraged.
All this is not at all a disrespect of the Syrian sovereignty, as some of the extremists of both parties promote, whose part of them is cynical and the other is angry, and who don’t see neither in the persistence of existence of Al-Nusra Front nor in the continuation of the crisis, a threat to national sovereignty. On the contrary, the agreement today, in strategic essence, is dragging the Westerners in general and the Americans in particular out of the arena of manipulation through Idlib's file and the humanitarian situation in Idlib, and paves the way for their final removal from the Syrian file. For this very reason, it is a necessary step to restore the Syrian sovereignty by eliminating terrorism on a difficult and complex spot, and trimming of the claws of Westerners and their interventions, by pushing for the political process in which the Syrian people will decide their own destiny, on their unified and protected land.
The Zionist aggression today is nothing more than an extra piece of evidence of the extent of the Western resentment in general, and "Israeli" in particular, of the agreement that was signed, so this aggression is weak militarily, loser politically, and miserable in media.
Written by: Kassioun Political Editor