The heads of American diplomacy, Saudi, Turkish and Russian are found Friday in Vienna for talks on the unprecedented war in Syria between the Washington-Ankara-Riyadh trio, fierce opponents of the Damascus regime, and Moscow, his most faithful ally.
The Austrian capital is to be the day the scene of a diplomatic ballet between American John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Saudi al-Adel Jubeir Feridun Sinirlioglu and Turkish.
The highlight will be at the beginning of the afternoon, a quadripartite meeting on the Syrian conflict, a first diplomatic and sign of the internationalization of a civil war that has claimed more than 250,000 lives since March 2011 .
A trilateral US-Saudi Arabia-Turkey, unpublished, is also scheduled in the morning. It will be followed by a further meeting between John Kerry and Lavrov, two leaders who display a certain complicity and maintain a channel of communication between their governments with very degraded relations.
The positions between, on the one hand, Washington, Riyadh and Ankara, on the other hand, Moscow still competing on Syria.
The Americans and their allies are piloting an international military coalition against jihadist group Islamic State (EI) and provide support to Syrian rebels enemies of the regime in Damascus.
Across Russia, key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has launched three weeks ago an aerial bombing campaign in Syria. An intervention against “terrorism,” says Moscow. Raids intended rather to save the Syrian head of state, accusing Washington and its partners.
Before send his Minister Lavrov in Vienna, Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled Thursday that “the objective of the United States was to get rid of Assad.”
The Kremlin leader has even criticized the “double game” lent to Westerners, “say we fight against the terrorists and at the same time try to use part of them to advance his pawns in the Middle East and serve its interests. ”
On the contrary, argued the Russian president, “our goal is to defeat terrorism (…) and help President Assad to claim victory against terrorism”.
“We can create conditions for launching and, I hope, the successful conclusion of a political process,” Putin still argued, who had received in Moscow on Tuesday the head of the Syrian state, while calling initiating a “political process”.
The diplomatic, historical and unconditional support to Damascus that Moscow brings doubles of defense equipment deliveries and since September 30, over 800 strikes against “terrorist targets”, as the head of the Russian military intervention General Andrei Kartapolov.
In more than a year, the coalition led by the US, she performed several thousands of raids against IE in Syria and Iraq. But “why (…) they have not yet yielded tangible results?”, Further criticized Putin.
In response, Washington and its partners hammer that there is “no military solution” to the war in Syria and to look for a political way out.
Assad must leave eventually …
But after having tirelessly demanded the immediate departure of President Assad as a precondition for a political process, the United States has put water in their wine admitting recent months that the calendar was negotiable.
On a visit in Berlin on Thursday before arriving in the evening in Vienna, John Kerry has not explicitly requested the departure of Assad, but he felt the press that the only “thing that stands in the way ( a political solution) is a person called Assad, Bashar al-Assad. ”
Also enemy of the Alawite Syrian regime (a branch of Shiism), Saudi Arabia Sunni demands that President Assad leaves power, but a minister said Monday he could remain in place for the establishment of a government of transition.
Turkey is also an opponent of Syria, but however recently held “possible” a transition process with the head of the Syrian state. A first for Ankara.
Iran, powerful support of its Syrian ally, is not invited in Vienna although there is still Mr. Kerry refers Thursday: he recalled that just as the United States, Russia and Europe, was Tehran “agree” on the principle of a political solution in Syria.