Russia Looks Forward To Arab Summit Settling Syria Crisis

The Russian leaders pin hopes on the Arab summit, to be hosted by Jordan on March 29, to reach a political settlement to the conflict in Syria, political observers believe.

A senior delegation, led by the Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, will attend the summit.

Their participation comes under an invitation from Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, said Vyacheslav Matuzov – the co-chair of the Russian-Arab friendship association.

The Russian minister stated desire for Syria resuming its membership at the Arab League and bridging the gap between Syria and the Arab countries in the wake of the Arab Spring events, he said in a statement.

Russia seeks to mobilize Arab support to the intra-Syrian peace talks in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, being sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Some Arab countries have influence on armed groups in Syria and they can persuade them of having positive approach to the negotiating process, he noted.

Despite its big differences with some Arab countries, Russia still hopes that the upcoming summit will crystalize a decisive stance on the Syrian armed groups designated as terrorist by the UN Security Council, Matuzov went on.

Russia also hopes to invest the Jordanian experiment in convincing the armed groups that have not joined the December agreement on cessation of hostilities to do so as early as possible and join the Astana and Geneva talks, he added.

On his part, Dr. Vladimir Isayev – a lecturer at the Institute of Asian and African studies, Moscow State University, said the Russian delegation to the Arab summit aren’t going to the summit empty-handed; they have something to say to the Arab leaders.

The Russian side was mandated by the Syrian government to set up a committee to work out a new constitution for Syria.

Besides, Russia and the other sponsors of the Astana talks are mandated by the Syrian negotiators to form effective mechanisms for monitoring the agreement on cessation of hostilities and bringing to book the violators of the agreement, he noted.

Dr. Isayev added that Russia entered direct talks with representatives of the Syrian armed groups in Astana in January and was invited to the meetings in Tehran on April 18 and Astana on May 3.

Dealing with the recent military confrontations between Syria and Israel, he said the confrontation shocked Moscow and highlighted once again the need to reach an early settlement to the Syrian conflict.

Russia, a traditional ally of Syria, seeks to capitalize on the Arab summit in lobbying for the combat against the so-called Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups in Syria, finding a negotiated settlement to the crisis in Syria and normalizing the Syrian-Arab relations, he concluded.





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