Discussions away from the public eye are taking place between the United States and Russia in Geneva where a new round of Syrian talks have been taking place over the last few days. The aims of the discussions are to make a “deal” before summer that will end the war in Syria. According to western diplomatic sources who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat, the deal will be made away from other regional and international parties
The informed sources said that there are fears and concerns about the American desire to achieve diplomatic success in Syria for the Democrats and prevent Russia from benefiting from the expected absence of US diplomacy because of the proximity of the presidential elections scheduled for the autumn. If the deal does not materialise by September, Washington will be in a weak position relative to Moscow and its plans in Syria and the region.
Regarding violations of the ceasefire on numerous fronts, Asharq Al-Awsat learnt from observers of the Geneva talks that the UN envoy Staffan de Mistura, who did not achieve much from his tour which included visits to Moscow, Damascus and Tehran, may return to the UN Security Council and both sides involved in the crisis in order to reinstate the cessation of hostilities and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas.
On the other hand, armed factions that are part of the Higher Negotiations Committee (HNC) demanded that the international community shoulder its responsibilities if it really wants to fight ISIS and eradicate the organisation. The demand came at a press conference held in Geneva yesterday, and the factions also pointed out that the relationship between ISIS and the Syrian regime is organic and functional. A representative of the armed opposition said that the Free Syria Army (FSA) and its factions are fighting three opponents at the same time; the regime’s army, ISIS and units to protect the Kurdish people.