Armed groups fighting the Syrian government have announced that they will attend the upcoming peace talks in Kazakhstan. The coalition of militants has said that it would give top priority to discussions about violations of the current ceasefire, which the armed groups and the Syrian army each blame on the other. The negotiations backed by Russia, Iran and Turkey will be held on January 23 in the Kazakh capital Astana. We have asked Marcus Papadopoulos, a political analyst with Politics First, how likely he thinks the Astana peace talks will succeed.
The commentator expressed doubt that the upcoming peace negotiations would have bright prospects, saying that as long as the United States and its Middle East allies continue to arm the militant groups in Syria, there would be no chance for sustainable peace there.
“I emphasize a possibility that the summit in Kazakhstan would really bear fruit,” Papadopoulos said. “However, am I optimistic that the conflict will come to an end in Syria by peaceful means? Regrettably, I am not and that pains me to have to say that. Why? Because I believe the only way the conflict will come to an end peacefully in Syria is if America and Britain and Turkey and Saudis and Qatar stop all forms of support to the terrorists in Syria. Otherwise, this conflict will simply drag on and on. The end result, in my opinion, will be a victory by the Syrian army. However, that would be a bitter-sweet victory and it would involve more and more people dying in Syria.”
Papadopoulos cautioned against being overly optimistic that these talks would put an end to the bloody war in Syria.
Asked about the incoming US President Donald Trump’s promise to work with Russia to end the conflict in Syria, the commentator replied that no one can talk with certainty about Trump at the present time. “Because he has no political background and this has kept him unknown. Besides, he has already backtracked on many of the promises that he has given to his supporters in his campaign trail.”
“We really don't know what sort of president Donald Trump is going to be. He is an unknown quantity and even if he genuinely wants to stop all forms of support to the terrorists in Syria, he would be up against a formidable machine on Capitol Hill comprising of Congress, the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department, and various lobby groups. And of course, if somehow Mr. Trump managed to navigate his way through that awesome minefield, then yes, that would create a tension somewhat between America and its regional allies,” Papadopoulos underscored.
“So, let’s not get too excited about Mr. Trump,” he concluded.