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Hope, at last?

Jan 02,2017 - Last updated at Jan 02,2017

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution that supports the Russian-Turkish peace initiative for Syria, which includes maintaining the recently declared ceasefire and projected talks in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.

The resolution could be the very breakthrough sought by the war-weary Syrians and by the assorted foreign sponsors and supporters of the Syrian war and, later, “peace process”, all involved in it for some objective or another.

The text “welcomes and supports the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and jumpstart a political process”, badly needed to put an end to a war for which a heavy price was paid in terms of human life — over 300,000 dead, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — and widespread destruction.

The US is absent from the Russian-Turkish initiative, having preferred to marginalise itself on the issue, but its representative at the UN Security Council welcomed Moscow and Ankara’s effort to bring an end to the war in Syria and called the truce “positive”.

Russia and Turkey say that the projected talks in Astana will only supplement, not replace, the UN-backed peace efforts, including talks slated for February in Geneva, but their actions are closely followed as more and more are convinced that only Moscow and Ankara are capable of eventually putting an end to the nearly six years of conflict in Syria.

With the Russian and Turkish presidents acting decisively and showing that they mean what they say, the possibility that the suffering Syrians will finally enjoy peace and that Syria will be spared the fate of Iraq seems less remote. 

 

Maybe the new year, and this belated intervention, will at last bring peace and stability to this once prosperous country with a long, proud history, which has been reduced to rubble.

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