Putin’s Shock Achieves its Goals

By: fahed Al Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 20 March / Mar 2016. 01:00 AM
  • فهد الخيطان

UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, postposed the Geneva deliberation sessions between conflicting parties in Syria to next week.

Although the last round did not score any essential breakthroughs, it did not, however, result in a setback. The outcomes of the deliberations arrived modest, but within expected ceilings.

The positive development, notwithstanding, is the agreement on the date of the next session before the adjournment of negotiations. Such a procedural order was previously impossible.

No one intended for any of the two disputing parties to openly admit it, but Russia’s decision to “partially” withdraw from the battlefield was decisive for both sides’ to comply with the terms of the political process as the only possible resolution.

The Syrian delegation seemed stubborn and pompous; unwilling to admit to being under the pressure of Russia’s decisive position, while —contrarily, the opposition, seemed overly confident, with no thanks due to the Russians there.

The Kurds of Syria, on the other hand, unilaterally declaring the adoption of federalism in Kurdish territories, put the staring perils of the continuation of confliction in Syria —without resolve, into perspective. It crystallised for both parties, and for the first time, commonilties regarding the strategic concerns for the future of Syria.

Nevertheless, the Russian position and what is said about a Russian-American understanding, remains the crucial element in the givens of the next phase. If the Russian military intervention has indeed uprooted any hopes the opposition had for toppling the Syrian regime, then Putin's surprise decision to withdraw, made the political solution the sole way out for the regime, thereby dispelling the illusions of a military resolution that was dominantly widespread in the aftermaths of the “Sukhoi” storm.

It is not possible, of course, to predict the future course of the Geneva talks. For there are major obstacles that hinder the progress of a political solution, added disparities between conflicting Syrian elements. But the two big players; Moscow and Washington, seem to have left no way out for the two rivals but to negotiate.

In the next round, the mediums may be capable of influencing a convergence of the two parties’ contrasting views on an agenda for the deliberations itself. This is an important and essential step that will pave the way for further progress.

As for decisive factors in the probability assessments of success; it is compliance with the cease-fire that comprises instrumental basis for the continuation of negotiations. So far, there is a high degree of commitment that exceeded everyone's expectations. With the passage of time without the occurrence of major breaches, it would become difficult for any party to venture with breaking the truce and bear the consequences. Even at the popular level in Syria, the millions of Syrians who found calmness for the first time will face up, in the field, to anyone who tries pulling them back into the trenches of war.

There is nothing definite yet. But available indicators now suggest we are approaching a turning point in Syria; a point once so farfetched to imagine, or even deemed impossible only a few weeks back; but the Russian decision has turned everything around and revived hopes for an imminent end to the bloody crisis in Syria.

Is a resolution soon at hand? Maybe. But we still do not know the out coming form of post-Geneva Syria.