Baltic States – CIS

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 25.06.2021, 04:04

Solution to the Syrian Issue

Nataly Krumina, BC, Astana/Riga, 26.12.2018.Print version
The H-hour is coming for Syria, for the country is reaching the stage of post-conflict peace-building and is preparing for processing the new Constitution. The members of the UN hope that the first meeting of the constitutional committee of Syria is going to take place before the end of the year. But the USA demand speeding the process up and issued the ultimatum to the UN. Otherwise Washington is going to insist on bringing both Astana and Sochi peace-building processes down. What is the threat of this?


First of all, here is a brief explanation of what both processes are. The meeting at the Sochi venue took place on January 30, 2018 and was a one-off event of declarative nature determined to underline the involvement of Russia. The meeting in Sochi was boycotted by Syrian opposition, the Kurds and the West. It did not lead to any results. Therefore, the annihilation of this format of negotiations is supposed not to harm the process of the Syrian peace-building much.


Of course, this cannot be applied to the Astana venue. Its annihilation may lead to disastrous results. It cannot be forgotten that the capital of Kazakhstan was the place where the most important and most substantial agreements between the aggrieved parties were reached.

In Astana all the aggrieved parties came to the negotiating table for the first time. Four de-escalation zones were created in Syria within the Astana process. Right now peace is built and the process of full-rate recovery is being performed in three of them: Eastern Ghouta, the region to the north of Homs, as well as the Southern regions of Syria. The borders of these zones are not static, because they constantly expand due to the new settlements of Syria joining the reconciliation process. By today their number is over 2,200.


It was Astana where the parties of the Syrian conflict agreed to exchange the captives, create the conditions for the refugees to safety return to their residences and to create a mechanism of implying the ceasefire regime. This allowed the international humanitarian organizations to begin providing aid to Syrians being in desperate need of it.


How important is that? In order to answer the question it is necessary to study the Yemen situation, where the civil war is still going on, as well as the parallel struggle with terrorist regime. Because of absence of a proper conferential venue the largest humanitarian crisis in modern history began in this country. The life aspects in Yemen are like this now: famine, mass mortality of children because of malnutrition and complete despair of adults that, having no opportunities to eat anything else, eat tree leaves and feed them to their children.


Yes, the humanitarian crisis is present in Syria as well, but its scale is incomparably less because the aggrieved parties are running negotiations and at least try to ensure the conditions of survival for the civil population. These negotiations became possible outright thanks to Astana process.

The conferential venue in Astana is also important because the delegates of highest grade gather there, including the ministers of foreign affairs of the countries – guarantors of the Syrian truce: Turkey, Iran and Russia. This means that the negotiations are not only referred to the current problems of the Syrians, but to the creation of general position of the external actors – participants of the process as well. This could be more important that the mutual relationships of the aggrieved parties within the country under the modern geopolitical conditions.


In all, it is to be hoped that this time the Syrian issue became the subject of the new geopolitical bargaining, the counts of which can be not so obvious. But its price is quite understandable: the peaceful life of a specific country and millions of its citizens…

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