Syria talks start during ceasefire
The seventh round of negotiations on the Syria conflict began in Geneva on Monday. The fact that the ceasefire in the south of the country worked out by the US and Russia on the weekend has held for the most part could have a positive impact on the talks. Many commentators remain sceptical, however.
Not just Damascus can be satisfied
Many parties will benefit from the ceasefire, the London-based Palestinian paper Al-Quds Al-Arabi explains:
“The big beneficiary of the agreement is Israel. The ceasefire will secure its borders, keeping Iran and the Hezbollah militias at bay. Damascus can be satisfied as well. This agreement marks the beginning of US recognition of the Syrian regime. What's more, the regime now once more controls the border with Jordan. ... The deal will also have an effect on Syrian refugees in the neighbouring country. Soon the efforts to repatriate them will begin. Naturally this raises the question of whether these refugees will be safe after their return. If they aren't given adequate protection from attacks by the government troops or other forces, a new disaster looms on the horizon.”
The division of Syria has begun
The meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 summit ushers in a new phase in the Syria conflict, 24 Chasa believes:
“Putin has already met with three US presidents and things didn't turn out well for any of them. ... Experience shows that friendship with the US president is not indispensable for Putin. What about the ceasefire in southeast Syria? some will ask. As a rule such truces don't last any longer than the soldiers need to reload their guns. The truth is that the most dangerous phase is now getting underway - the dividing up of Syria between Russia and the US.”