Talks over the future of Syria took place in Istanbul, Turkey, with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Germany, and France meeting to discuss the Syrian peace process in a new contact group format.
Missing from the contact group, the United States, as well as President of Assad of Syria…who knows that Vladimir Putin will represent his interests within the contact group.
With Syrian reconciliation on the table, Erdogan opened the summit saying, “the whole world is watching this meeting. I hope, that the hopes will be met.”
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the new format, Istanbul summit aiming to bring a final peace to Syria.
With Vladimir Putin holding most of the cards, and Turkey a key player in the near seven year conflict, Merkel and Macron represent the European Union’s interests in Syria…which amount to nothing more than trying to control the migrant crisis that Merkel herself unleashed unto Europe.
The four leaders are also expected to be joined by UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura. The four-way summit is an entirely new format of talks on the war-torn country, which has endured years-long conflict.
The meeting is all about testing the waters and trying to bring about different formats of talks on Syria, as if the leaders were to “synchronize watches” rather than reach a breakthrough, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Similar opinion was expressed by Germany, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stating that the summit effectively brings different sides together for the very first time.
“There are Russians and Turks, who have been at the same format of talks with Iran. And on the other side, there are French and us, who partake in the so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group,” Maas said ahead of the event, adding that having a “joint conversation” was a viable idea.
Turkey, which is hosting the summit, appears to be a little bit more optimistic about the high-profile event. According to the spokesman for Turkey’s President, Ibrahim Kalin, the leaders are expected to discuss prospects of political settlement in Syria, and might agree on some sort of reconciliation roadmap and the main ideas for the new Syrian Constitution.