Syria talks in Lausanne to rescue terrorists: Fiasco
The latest round of talks aimed at putting an end to the crisis in Syria have come to an end without even the release of a joint statement by its participants.
The four-hour long Saturday talks were convened by US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Swiss city of Lausanne with the participation of foreign ministers from Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt as well as UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the participants agreed to meet again in the near future to find an end to the conflict in Syria.
He added that during the meeting, several “interesting ideas” had been brought up and discussed.
Kerry referred to the meeting as a “brainstorming” session, adding that lower level officials would for the time being continue discussions.
“I would characterize this as exactly what we wanted,” he said, adding that it was “a very candid, first time discussion, as open and freewheeling as this, with all of the key parties at the table simultaneously.”
“There were some difficult moments, where there was obviously tension, but everybody was constructive,” he said.
Lavrov and Kerry’s meeting was the first since a Russo-American-attempted ceasefire fell through in September.
Holding talks to agree on more talks
Following the meeting, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari said that almost two-thirds of the meeting was spent on the discussion of separating the so-called “moderate opposition” groups from the terrorists.
Moscow has long insisted that the US-backed moderate opposition groups in Syria should leave the areas held by terrorists that are targeted in the Russian air campaign.
Jaberi Ansari noted that other topics discussed during the session include the reasons behind the failure of the last ceasefire, and transfer of humanitarian and medical aid to Aleppo and other regions.
Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, has been divided between government forces and foreign-backed militants since 2012.
“The general agreement was that talks between the participant countries continue as soon as possible,” he said.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Lavrov held separate talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
The conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by de Mistura.