Four-way Syria summit in Istanbul

Erdoğan, Macron, Merkel and Putin have agreed at their summit meeting on Syria in Istanbul on the key points of a political process in the war-torn country. A constitutional committee is to be up and running in Geneva by the end of the year. What are the chances of finding a solution in this format?

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Evenimentul Zilei (RO) /

Looking for a way to cut the Gordian knot

The new format could be a good start, Evenimentul Zilei writes:

“The Syrian variant, with a separate Russian-Iranian peace which 'excludes other foreign players' hasn't brought results. The Astana format, comprising Russia, Iran and Turkey, also had its limits. Turkey left the last meeting in Tehran extremely dissatisfied. The bilateral US-Russia level, in turn, is marked by vast differences of approach and doesn't take account of the problems faced by Europe and above all Turkey. ... Add to that Israel's interests and we've got the Gordian knot model in Syria, with a war without winners. The Istanbul format is now a good opportunity to mend that, even if no Syrians took part in the negotiations.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Europe taking the initiative

According to Večernji list the summit should be seen as a signal by Europe to the US:

“Contrary to what was the case with previous rounds of talks in Astana or Geneva, in Istanbul the leaders of two key European countries were present. With their presence Germany and France showed that Washington's opinion is no longer their top priority, experts say. They see the meeting as a signal to the US that the European states want to continue their independent policy for resolving the conflicts that affect them. The German and French position on the war in Syria is far more flexible than that of the US or the UK, who don't want to create freedom but to topple Assad in the chaos of war.”

Yeni Şafak (TR) /

Turkey can turn a new page in the Middle East

The meeting in Istanbul has shown that new players are necessary if peace is to be established in the Middle East, the pro-government daily Yeni Şafak concludes:

“The leaders of Turkey, France, Germany and Russia discussed the future of Syria at the Istanbul summit. But the US, Israel, Iran and Syria were not present. ... This scenario alone shows how the world order has changed, how new powers and new axes have emerged and an international problem can be discussed without it always being the same countries discussing them. The war in Syria was a trap set up for Turkey and the entire region. But we have realised this and are now trying to take preventive measures and destroy the trap.”

Iswestija (RU) /

Constitutional committee won't work

In an article for Izvestia political scientist Alexander Domrin doubts the planned constitutional committee will be successful:

“The only concrete result is the agreement on the creation of a constitutional committee in the next two months. But this seems improbable to me, because it's supposed to consist of 150 persons; 50 experts representing the Syrian government, 50 from the internal (so-called 'moderate') opposition and 50 from the external opposition from outside the country. That's a complicated construction already simply in terms of its composition. Not to mention whether it will be capable of writing a new constitution for the country.”