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Talks and more talks

Nov 02,2017 - Last updated at Nov 02,2017

The latest round of “peace talks” on Syria, held on Monday and Tuesday in Astana, Kazakhstan, have little or no chance to advance the cause of peace in the country much further than the already agreed upon de-escalation zones.

The talks intended to finalise the plan for the four de-escalation zones that will include certain areas of Idlib, Latakia, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra, and call on the regime to halt air raids in these areas for at least six months, a period that can be extended if necessary.

The ceasefire, if implemented, could pave the way for a political settlement to the strife in the country. Or so it is hoped.

The four de-escalation zones in question witnessed repeated violations of ceasefire, including in Eastern Ghouta, which became the scene of great violations and where children are reportedly dying in the hundreds from starvation.

Russia, which gained a strong and seemingly permanent foothold in Syria, is the prime mover behind the Astana forum for peace talks. Turkey and Iran are supposed to also be guarantors of the de-escalation zones, but they seem to be at loggerheads over their long-term agendas for Syria.

For now, Iran is siding with Damascus and Ankara leans towards the Syrian rebel side.

Moscow hoped that the latest Astana talks will make possible convening a conference in Sochi where a new constitution could be crafted for the country, but even that modest initiative did not go too far as the opposition argued that Sochi-based negotiations would be a serious deviation from the UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria in Geneva.

The Geneva talks are scheduled to begin on November 28 amid signs that the two sides in the Syrian conflict are still wide apart.

One hopes that all these peace talks will not be futile, and costly, endeavours, but help bring real peace to this country almost entirely destroyed by war.

The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, is still optimistic about the prospects of peace in the country, yet there is little to bring in support of a positive projection.

About half a million Syrians died in this insane war, half of the population has been displaced, the country is in shambles and the Syrians left in the country will continue to suffer and die, pawns in the political games played by nations with vested interest in seeing Syria broken.

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Comments

WHY IS IT THAT THE NEWS FROM THAT REGION IS ALWAYS ABOUT WARS AFTER WARS, TALKS AFTER TALKS AND YET THE REGION NEITHER PEACE NOR HOPE FOR THE PEOPLE IN THAT REGION. IT IS TIME FOR THE ARAB WORLD TO COME TOGETHER AND UNITE AND START SAYING NO TO WARS NO MATTER WHO IS SUPPORTING THEM AND PUSHING THEM TO FIGHT ONE ANOTHER. ECONOMIC STABILITY AND PROPEROUS NATIONS CAN NOT PROSPER IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION.

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