Summit Russia-Iran-Turkey to make progress in the settlement in Syria

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The presidents of the Russian federation, iran and turkey meet on Thursday in the south of Russia to try to revive the settlement of the conflict in Syria at a time when the group jihadist islamic State (EI) is cornered and Washington prepares for its military withdrawal.

Syria, where eight years of conflict have left more than 350,000 dead, you will find this week at the centre of an intense diplomatic with a meeting of the coalition anti-EI in Munich and a conference on the Near East in Warsaw in the presence of the head of the american diplomacy Mike Pompeo and israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Sochi, on the shores of the Black sea, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rohani, an ally of the regime in Damascus, and Recep Tayyip Erdonga, support of the syrian rebels, should formally focus on initiatives aimed to advance the dialogue intersyrien.

Host of the summit, Russia has established itself as a major player in the conflict since the launch in 2015 of its military intervention in support of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, which now controls almost two-thirds of the country.

The process of Astana, launched at the initiative of Moscow with Iran and Turkey, has also overshadowed the negotiations sponsored by the UN, without reaching a definitive settlement of the conflict.

According to the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov, the summit between the presidents of these three countries in particular needs to be devoted to the formation of a committee charged with drafting a new Constitution for Syria in view of a political transition.

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At the end of December, the united nations has admitted that they have failed to form this committee, citing problems with the changes proposed by Damascus on a list of names. “But we are ready to seek a way out of this situation (…), we are going to continue to work,” assured Mr. Lavrov on Wednesday.

This is the fourth summit since November 2017 between Russia, Iran and Turkey. It is organized so that the fighters kurds and arabs of the democratic Forces in syria (FDS), with the support of the coalition led by Washington, have launched Saturday their offensive “final” against the last pocket-jihadist, located in the syrian province of Deir Ezzor (east).

– “Node a terrorist” to Idleb -After a rise in the power blazing in 2014 and the proclamation of a “caliphate” in large parts of Syria and Iraq, jihadists rout — who controlled the once great cities, are now cornered in an area of a few square miles.

A victory on the ir would open the way for the disengagement surprise announced in December by Mr. Trump of some 2,000 american soldiers deployed in Syria to assist the FDS in the fight against the jihadists. But no timetable for withdrawal has not been realised to this day by Washington.

The last summit between the three presidents was held in September in Iran. Their differences regarding the fate of the syrian province of Idleb (north-west) were then appeared on the big day.

It had taken a new meeting between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid an assault wanted by the syrian regime on Idleb, creating a “demilitarized zone” russo-Turkish in this vast enclave that embraces the rebel factions and which still escapes the control of the forces of Bashar al-Assad.

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On Thursday, the fate of this province should be again discussed by Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Putin, who will meet separately prior to their summit with Mr. Rohani.

Under the agreement, russo-Turkish, all of the fighters and radicals, including the jihadists of Hayat al-Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an organisation dominated by ex-branch of Al-Qaeda, had to withdraw from this area. But the activists of HTS have been strengthened since their grip.

“They now control over 90% of the territory of the enclave,” said on Wednesday Mr. Lavrov, stressing that”no agreement shall provide for the maintenance lord of this knot of terrorism on the syrian territory”. “We will do everything to help the syrian regime, the syrian armed forces to settle the problem of the liberation of their territory,” he added.