Whether effective cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran on Syria

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu (left to right) during a press conference following the meeting

Photo: Alexander Scherbak/TASS

In Moscow held the first talks between Iran, Russia and Turkey on Syria. The parties agreed to continue to promote the talks, though pointed to the contradictions. At this stage, the Alliance is beneficial to all parties

“Troika” against stagnation

The foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in this format for the first time. “This in itself is an important event,” — said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu. At the same time with the foreign Ministers of the three countries met in Moscow and Ministers of defense.

At the first meeting of “Troika” agreed measures “to revive the political process to end the Syrian conflict.” To stop it needs, as follows from the text, based on respect for the territorial integrity of Syria and understand that a military solution to the conflict there. The Ministers also agreed to ensure the completion of the process of evacuation from Aleppo.

Iran, Russia and Turkey is ready to contribute to the comprehensive agreement between the Syrian government and the opposition on the settlement of the conflict and to guarantee its execution. The parties are willing to continue the fight against terrorists and consider it necessary to dissociate the terrorist group, banned in Russia, ISIL and “Jabhat Fatah al-sham” from the armed opposition.

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at a press conference following the talks, expressed confidence that the actions of the “Troika” will help to overcome the stalemate in the negotiation process. According to him, this format is the “most efficient” and shows the relevance of practical Affairs. As the success of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Iran Javad Zarif led the implementation of the agreement on withdrawal of armed and unarmed people of Aleppo. The armistice agreement and the withdrawal of people from Aleppo was reached last week with the mediation of Russia and Turkey. Managed to get 37 thousand people, said Cavusoglu.

Lavrov and his colleagues indicated that the creation of a new format shall not constitute a waiver of other negotiations. But, said Lavrov, UN effort yet to no avail, as the International Syria support group (ISSG). He recalled that the ISSG, in which in addition to the “Troika” involving the United States and other countries, several times gathered, but may not promote it. He reminded the audience that does not fully materialize the potential of cooperation between Russia and the United States, who are co-chairs of the SSG. Responsible for the failure, he put on the USA, which in December withdrew its proposals on settling the situation in Aleppo.

The difficulties of reconciling

“All previous attempts to agree on joint actions taken by the United States or their partners, were doomed to failure. None of them had the real influence on the situation on the ground, is called the advantage of the three countries in the conflict settlement, the Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu (quoted by “Interfax”).

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the Iran military and economic support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has supported Assad in the fight against terrorists from October of last year. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the contrary, since the beginning of the Syrian conflict broke friendly relations with Assad consistently insisted that Assad has no place in future Syria, formally supporting the proposed UN negotiations. Lavrov at the press conference pointed out that Russia, Iran and Turkey committed to the fight against terrorism, and not regime change.

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In addition, assistance to the Assad regime is providing the Lebanese Shiite movement “Hezbollah” (which, in turn, operates with the support of Iran). At a press conference in Moscow Cavusoglu, speaking of Hezbollah, said that “it is necessary to stop their support”. However, the Minister Zarif disagreed with him. According to him, all parties should cease to maintain only those powers that it deems terrorist, UN, ISIS and “Jabhat Fatah al-sham”.

The Syrian government also believes illegal operation Turkey “shield of the Euphrates” that Ankara is pursuing in Syria on the border with Turkey. From the words of Cavusoglu at a press conference, it follows that to stop it the government of Turkey does not intend. Ankara is also supporting parts of the armed opposition in Syria.

Although the contradictions between Iran, Russia and Turkey remain, it is now developed all the conditions for effective cooperation between the two countries, said the Director of the center “Russia — East — West” Vladimir Sotnikov. On the one hand, the Western powers “withdrew” from the conflict in Syria and Iraq, waiting for the outcome of the battles in Aleppo and Mosul, on the other — the tension has increased so much that the main contenders for dominance in the region are forced to unite in the face of the terrorist threat, the expert explains.

Despite the controversy, all the players are fully aware that a confrontational way expensive, exhausting and not very promising, the fact of the meeting is, rather, a public Declaration of intentions of the countries to seek a common point on Syria, says Maxim Suchkov, the expert of the Russian Council on international Affairs. Iran, he said, will not abandon support for Hizbollah, and Turkey from his own protege.

The stated cooperation is a mere imitation of the political process in the absence of real progress in diplomacy, disagrees the Director of the Center for analysis of middle East conflicts of the Institute of USA and Canada Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Shumilin. Each of the three parties pursuing the imitation of negotiations their goals, said Shumilin. Moscow and Tehran, he said, requires the legitimization of the seizure of Aleppo, and Turkey is looking for new partners due to the cooling of relations with NATO and the United States. Fearing Kurdish terrorism, Turkey can agree to work together with Moscow and Tehran in exchange for influence in Syrian Kurdistan to protect its territory from further attacks, suggests Shumilin. At the same time, the expert emphasizes that Ankara is willing to sacrifice relations with the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf who are unhappy with the events in Aleppo and the Turkish reaction to them.

The rapprochement between the traditional rivals — Ankara and Tehran — situational, but now in the interests of both countries, sure Knots.

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