Written by Nasser Kandil,
Since the beginning of the war on Syria, the meetings which bring together the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad form pauses for new stages in the course of this war. At every time the accurate considerations rule these stages and lead to success. This is clear through reviewing the curved paths of war, some of which were very dangerous as the day when the US fleets were mobilizing off Syria, and some were very complicated as the decisions of the military resolving in Aleppo, Deir Al Zour, Boukamal, and Eastern Ghouta, and some were very sensitive as the dealing with the problematic relationship with the Kurdish and the Turkish positions.
Now the summit between the two presidents takes place after the qualitative victories achieved by the Syrian Arab army supported by its allies at their forefront Russia, these victories made the open area under the control of the Syrian state, it stretches from the southern border line which is under the control of the armed groups led by the American-Saudi- Israeli tripartite and represented by the Jordanian agent towards the northern border line which is under the control of the armed groups led by America and Turkey. It was striking during the military victories that the role of the Syrian army in the battles has become the main factor without a need for ground participation from the allies but only in limited and particular cases. This indicates that the state and its institutions have recovered on one hand, and the influence of these rolling victories on the will of the armed groups versus the high moral zest enjoyed by the Syrian army on the other hand.
The bilateral drawn by the new summit in the light of Astana meetings and the American absence is the activation of the political process and the preparation for the withdrawal of the foreign forces. The linkage between the two goals was clear in the words of Putin and Al-Assad at the beginning of their meeting. Putin said that the momentum of the political process paves the way for the withdrawal of the foreign forces, while Al-Assad said that there are countries that do not aim at the process and the success of the political process, therefore the attempt will reveal which of these two goals must be achieved first to pave the way for the other.
In previous times, the Russian-Syrian relationship witnessed managing of such problems, when Moscow was planning for a truce or for calming areas accompanied by Damascus, it discovered that the only option is what has been already proposed by the President Al-Assad ” the military resolving” so it adopted it. This time Moscow and Damascus will have the opportunity to go together towards forming the committee which was decided in Sochi to discuss the constitution and to open the file of the withdrawal of the foreign forces from Syria. The positions of the international parties especially Washington and Ankara will reveal whether is it possible to achieve any political progress suggested by the words of the opposition delegation in Astana with the announcement of the regret of holding weapons and the seek to take over the responsibilities of the Syrian government, or that these words will remain without interpretation in abandoning the impossible ceilings of the political solution.
Today the issue is Turkey. The participating groups in Astana and the attempt will grant the opportunity to the Russian-Turkish relationship and its ability to provide forces that allow making a breakthrough in the political solution towards unified government under the presidency of the President Al-Assad in preparation for a new constitution and elections or maybe, the opening of the political and non-political files of the foreign presence in Syria will return to be a priority?
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,