mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
Sidelined in Syria
Russia Snubs US and UN In New Syria Talks

In the aftermath of Aleppo’s brutal fall, Moscow is adding insult to injury by excluding the U.S. and UN from a new set of Syria peace talks to be brokered by Russia and Turkey. Reuters:

President Vladimir Putin said he and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan are working to organize a new series of Syrian peace talks without the involvement of the United States or the United Nations.

In a snub to Washington, Putin made clear on Friday that the initiative was the sole preserve of Moscow and Turkey and that the peace talks, if they happened, would be in addition to intermittent U.N.-brokered negotiations in Geneva.

“The next step is to reach an agreement on a total ceasefire across the whole of Syria,” Putin said in Tokyo. “We are conducting very active negotiations with representatives of the armed opposition, brokered by Turkey.”

Putin, who has leveraged Russia’s role in Syria to boost his diplomatic muscle, said the talks proposal was being put to the Syrian government and the opposition. Kazakhstan, the proposed venue, is a Russian ally, and Putin said the talks could take place in Astana, the Kazakh capital.

At this point, there should be no remaining doubts about who is calling the shots in Syria. The U.S. has not exercised meaningful influence in Syria for some time now, but the new Russian initiative is a particularly stinging rebuke to the failures of U.S. diplomacy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently made his disdain for John Kerry’s efforts plain when he dismissed their frequent talks as “fruitless get-togethers.”

Tellingly, the recent Aleppo evacuation deal was negotiated by Russia and Turkey, not the U.S., and it appeared to catch Western powers off guard. This is yet another sign that Russia is increasingly casting its lot with Turkey to further its interests in Syria. Despite their many differences, this makes some amount of strategic sense. The hope seems to be that Moscow and Ankara can build on their budding rapprochement and work toward a grand settlement on Syria. There are no guarantees that such a scenario will pan out, but it looks like the U.S. will be sitting on the sidelines as Russia and Turkey begin to explore the possibilities.

Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • Kev

    I have to say the fact that Russia can “exclude” the US from Syria talks is remarkable in and of itself. It seems only yesterday, the media were debating whether it was prudent to let Russians have a seat at a table!

    • JR

      You are a much more diligent drone for Russia than Dhako is for China. Shorter too. You can have Syria.

      • Andrew Allison

        But, as in this case, he gets it right once in a while.

        • JR

          He sure does. And if we didn’t have shale reserves, it’d be an absolute catastrophe. With shale, if Syria, Russia, turkey, Egypt, Israel, Iran wanna take a stab at this without us babysitting them, so much the better.

      • Disappeared4x

        most ‘media’ failed to notice who attended the Embassy of Azerbaijan’s Hanukkah Party at TI-DC hotel the night before Putin’s announcement today. Probably just a coincidence…and the WH DID boycott the event…

        “… ambassadors and diplomats from Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Romania, Russia, Tajikstan and Turkey. …

        The event honored countries that provided crucial firefighting personnel and equipment to help Israel battle the devastating fires that raged across the country last month. Before presenting the foreign diplomats with traditional hanukkiahs (Hanukkah menorahs), Hoenlein expressed the Conference of Presidents’s gratitude for how their nations assisted Israel during the wave of fires.

        “We were moved by Ambassador Suleymanov’s suggestion to hold this event,” Hoenlein said. “It represents an essential part of who the Jewish people are to publicly mark the Hanukkah holiday, to express our respect for other religions by joining with Muslims, both Sunni and Shi’a, Christians and every other faith tradition, and to promote understanding by focusing on what we have in common rather than what separates and divides us.”

        http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/12/15/hanukkah-party-at-trump-hotel-draws-high-profile-crowd-despite-jewish-groups-boycott#.WFQ_oGciw2w=
        [JR: thought you would like this more than Kev even tho it is a notation to to his comment. The msm coverage is a case study in fake news]

        • f1b0nacc1

          You did see who Trump chose as his Ambassador to Israel?….Barry O must be grinding his teeth every time he thinks about it!

          • Disappeared4x

            His reaction is way beyond teeth grinding: NEVER NORMALIZE DJT45 (NNT is my acronym). Conde Nast already deployed to make Friedman’s confirmation the biggest nomination fight. Reading DavidRemnick in ‘The New Yorker’ yesterday on the Friedman nomination was a macro-aggression trigger, on top of Ms Fox daily NNT at ‘Vanity Fair’ , now having a subscription sale for everyone who wants to NNT.

            Hope you saw the photo I added to our dog-corgi-The Queen thread – Tussaud’s wax Royal Family in Bad Christmas Sweaters, corgis included.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Indeed I did (and thank you!), I have shared it with several of my friends. To be honest, the corgis are likely brighter than the Royal Family…certainly cuter…

            Regarding the NNT (and I love that! hope you don’t mind if use it in the future…), that is half the fun. The Friedman nomination is another one of those little bonuses that DJT has delivered, that I am getting a great deal of pleasure out of. My expectations for this administration were not high….I expected a good SCOTUS appointment followed by a grinding stasis that hopefully would set the stage for real reforms down the road….but DJT has managed to exceed them even before taking office!

            Heck, just watching FG grumble about us all being ‘chumps’ has been more than enough fun for me!

          • Disappeared4x

            All good. Corgis ARE adorable, & look better in sweaters. Seems Calvin Klein decided he would love to ‘dress Melania’ – hopefully a first step for fashion to stop NNT.

            I am just glad DJT won. Was going to move to Israel rather than be tortured any more by neo-Democrats in power, writing evermore laws that only create new problems, never solving the old problems. Now I get to watch them try to turn NC into NY – hope McCrory gets a good slot – he was my first glimpse of what it is like to live in a state with a good governor.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I have deeply mixed feelings about the NC situation. While I am under no illusions that Cooper is anything but an enemy of all that I hold dear, the post-election shenanigans do concern me. Yes, I know that the Dems would have done exactly the same thing (in fact they did in both the 70s and 90s), I am concerned when ‘our side’ adopts the same tactics. We are supposed to be better than that, and though sometimes practical matters must take priority, I remain unsettled.

            Glad you are remaining here with us to carry on the fight. Israel is a good place to be (believe me, I know!), there is nothing like the States….

          • Disappeared4x

            NC has a history of “…traditional resistance to strong executive power…” And, a history of mostly Democratic governors. McCrory was the first GOP governor since 1993. Even though the LGBT activists claim McCrory lost because of HB2, most here seem to think it was about McCrory and Duke Energy’s coal ash.

            Of all the meetings in Trump Tower, I really want to know what the McCrory meet was about. McCrory took every opportunity during the election to cite ‘out-of-state’ interference, mentioning Soros by name, mostly about the BLM protestriots in Charlotte. Heck, my redneck electrician mentioned Soros! (I use redneck as a compliment – people who work outside get red necks). Everyone seemed to know that 70% of the arrests in Charlotte during the protestriots were from out-of-state (and there IS a Federal law on that).

            My fantasy is that what happened in NC will be the basis for the DoJ case against the entire ALT-CTRL-left ‘protests’, a fantasy that has Giuliani and Christie building the RICO case, while McCrory goes to work elsewhere in the cabinet.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_North_Carolina
            apologies to TAI for the diversion from Aleppo to Charlotte.

          • Disappeared4x

            The use of “normalize” is more sinister than the pre-election automatic labeling of “deplorables” as racists, …
            Post-election, the CTRL-Left labels any disagreement, in addition to the entire Trump family, as ABNORMAL.

            Time to read Harding’s campaign speech, after 8 years of Progressive Wilson+WW1, excerpted here:
            “Return to Normalcy” Warren G. Harding Boston, MA May 14, 1920

            “…America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality.

            It is one thing to battle successfully against world domination by military autocracy, because the infinite God never intended such a program, but it is quite another thing to revise human nature and suspend the fundamental laws of life and all of life’s acquirements…”

            http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/return-to-normalcy/

          • Disappeared4x

            “Mideast Diplomats: Trump is Better Than Obama: At a high-level conference in Morocco, Arab diplomats say they would rather have a U.S. administration that spouts anti-Muslim rhetoric to get elected than one that makes deals with Iran.”
            Kimberly Dozier 12 17 2016
            http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/17/mideast-diplomats-trump-is-better-than-obama.html

            This seems to qualify as under-reported Real News. from Dozier’s report: “…“They prefer someone who hates Islam to an administration that loves Iran,” said one high ranking Mideast diplomat, in a less-diplomatic comment that was echoed by many at the Atlantic Dialogues (AtlanticDialogues.org) in Marrakech, here to debate the security of African, Mideast and European nations and their ties to the U.S. …”

            The article is very interesting. Daily Beast really does not want text to be copied, so read it at the URL – they discuss the embassy move to Jerusalem and DJT’s transactional style.

    • Disappeared4x

      most ‘media’ failed to notice who attended the Embassy of Azerbaijan’s Hanukkah Party at TI-DC hotel the night before Putin’s announcement today. Probably just a coincidence…and the WH DID boycott the event…

      “… ambassadors and diplomats from Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Romania, Russia, Tajikstan and Turkey. …

      The event honored countries that provided crucial firefighting personnel and equipment to help Israel battle the devastating fires that raged across the country last month. Before presenting the foreign diplomats with traditional hanukkiahs (Hanukkah menorahs), Hoenlein expressed the Conference of Presidents’s gratitude for how their nations assisted Israel during the wave of fires.

      “We were moved by Ambassador Suleymanov’s suggestion to hold this event,” Hoenlein said. “It represents an essential part of who the Jewish people are to publicly mark the Hanukkah holiday, to express our respect for other religions by joining with Muslims, both Sunni and Shi’a, Christians and every other faith tradition, and to promote understanding by focusing on what we have in common rather than what separates and divides us.”

      http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/12/15/hanukkah-party-at-trump-hotel-draws-high-profile-crowd-despite-jewish-groups-boycott#.WFQ_oGciw2w=

  • Dale Fayda

    A very fitting parting “bitch slap” for the narcissistic nancy-boy Obama and his hopelessly deluded errand boy Kerrey. I (almost) feel sorry for them, having to watch all of their “accomplishments” circle the drain. But then I remember their smug pontifications and the feeling goes away.

    • Andrew Allison

      The appalling Obama legacy is becoming more clear every day. Talk about unfit to be President.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Since lame ducks are lame ducks, Russia is either snubbing Trump or acting unilaterally with the Trump team’s approval. Most likely it’s the latter.

    • Angel Martin

      Yes, Trump isn’t even President yet but it’s all his fault !

      • f1b0nacc1

        You expect different? This one has drunk deep of the Kool-Aid….

      • FriendlyGoat

        It’s not a matter of anything being Trump’s “fault”. It is a matter of the unlikelihood of Russia snubbing Trump on the way in—–unless you believe Trump has already been duped by Putin. My guess is the two camps are in contact, that Russia said it wants to do this deal and the Trump team said “we agree—–do it”.

  • ——————————

    “In the aftermath of Aleppo’s brutal fall, Moscow is adding insult to injury by excluding the U.S. and UN from a new set of Syria peace talks to be brokered by Russia and Turkey.”

    Good!
    Just more of Obama’s true legacy….

    One
    Big
    Ass
    Mistake
    America

  • Disappeared4x
    • JR

      I hesitate to put dates on when this or that will be accomplished. The timetable is unknowable, but the result is inevitable.

      • Disappeared4x

        April 10-11, 2017 are days 79-80 of DJT’s first 100 days. No matter where, it will be a beautiful Seder.

  • What about Palmyra’s brutal fall to the forces of the Islamic State, who are very much opposed to Assad’s regime?

  • Disappeared4x

    “At a high-level conference in Morocco, Arab diplomats say they would rather have a U.S. administration that spouts anti-Muslim rhetoric to get elected than one that makes deals with Iran.”
    Kimberly Dozier 12 17 2016
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/17/mideast-diplomats-trump-is-better-than-obama.html

    This seems to qualify as under-reported Real News. from Dozier’s report: “…“They prefer someone who hates Islam to an administration that loves Iran,” said one high ranking Mideast diplomat, in a less-diplomatic comment that was echoed by many at the Atlantic Dialogues (AtlanticDialogues.org) in Marrakech, here to debate the security of African, Mideast and European nations and their ties to the U.S. …”

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service