Sputnik – Middle East
According to a senior adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, the United States and Russia have come to a “tacit agreement” for ending the violence in Syria.
“The current US administration wants to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. There is a tacit agreement between the US and Russia to reach this solution,” Bouthaina Shaaban, a close adviser to Assad, told Syrian state television on Wednesday.
“The US recognizes now that Russia has profound knowledge of this region and a better assessment of the situation,” she added. “The current international climate is heading towards détente and towards a solution for the crisis in Syria.”
Still, a statement from US Defense Secretary Ash Carter casts doubt on such an accord.
“We will continue to work with Russia on issues where our interests overlap,” he said, according to Reuters. “It is possible but not yet clear that such an overlap might exist in Syria.”
Over 240,000 people have been killed since the crisis began in 2011, and millions have been displaced, creating the refugee crisis in Europe. While Russia has advocated for diplomatic discussions to bring about calm, the US and other Western nations have resisted, insisting on Assad’s removal from office as a prerequisite for peace.
“Russia has provided and will provide adequate support to the legitimate government of Syria in the fight against extremists and terrorists of all kinds,” Ilya Rogachev, head of Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for New Challenges and Threats, told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
Amidst the ongoing conflict, a number of US allies have begun to take note of the need for cooperation with both Russia and the legitimate government of Assad.
“We need to talk to many participants, including Assad,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said following an EU summit on Thursday.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Conferring in Moscow, the two leaders reached a “preliminary agreement” to share information on Syria.
“In regard to the channels of exchanging information and agreeing possible activities, then yes, this topic was discussed and preliminary agreements were reached during the meeting with Netanyahu,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a news conference.
The West has also been critical of the Kremlin’s long-standing policy to provide the Syrian government with equipment, weaponry, and training in its fight against terrorism. While Russia has made no secret of its actions in the region, Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of a “military intervention.”
Shaaban: There is U.S. recognition that Russia knows the region better
24 September، 2015
Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban said the West has retracted on Syria and its media is trying to save some face.
“For the first time the West finds that when it wants to do something it can’t,” Shaaban told the Syrian Television in an interview aired on Wednesday.
Yet, she added, the Western media, which has the most control of information, is trying to throw dust in the eyes “so that to provide a sort of cover for the retreat in the Western attitude.”
“Plenty of the statements made are for taking a turn and saving face,” she noted.
She said that if the Western countries had really reached a conviction that the political solution is a must in Syria, then providing support and funds to the terrorists must be stopped in implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions in this regard.
“There can’t be a political solution in Syria without eliminating terrorism,” Shaaban added.
She said that in light of the failure of US-led anti-ISIS coalition, in whose ineffectiveness the world has come to believe, the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative on forming a wide front against terrorism stands as the “first military track that needs to be done so as to help the Syrian army in fighting terrorism.”
That, she said, should lead to a UN political decision to enforce the Security Council’s resolutions and compel the countries which are funding and arming the terrorists to stop doing that.
Asked about the change in the U.S. attitude towards Syria, Shaaban said there is a tendency on the current U.S. administration’s part to find a solution to the crisis in Syria, referring to an “implicit understanding” between the US and Russia to reach that solution.
This, she noted, indicated U.S. recognition that Russia knows the region and does assess the situation better.
In her comments on the initiative of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the newly created four working groups, Shaaban said Syria deals with what de Mistura presents from a pure national perspective and on the basis of pure national interest.
On the idea of forming a new Syrian government with a broader opposition representation, Shaaban said that the term that is becoming more acceptable and realistic is that of a national unity government, stressing however that everything is contingent on the Syrian dialogue.