Ankara SUMMIT: Syria's future in your hands

Turkey, Russia and Iran have reluctant interests in Syria. Nevertheless, they are now taking a look at how things are going on there – and gaining influence.

Ankara SUMMIT: Syria's future in your hands
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  • Page 1 — Syria's future in your hands
  • Page 2 — "axis of resistance"
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    At first glance, it is not possible to see why Turkey is inviting Russia and Iran to discuss future of Syria. With a summit meeting in Ankara, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Ruhani and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, tried to signal that y could work toger on a solution for Syria – despite continuing existing disputes, which also clearly emerged this Wednesday.

    The governments in Moscow and Tehran finally support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Turkish vision for country of civil war, on or hand, is more akin to wishes of Ankara's Western allies, who hope for a solution without Assad.

    But one thing connects all three states: y determine next steps in Syria, because Europe's reluctance in Middle East and tangled US foreign policy under President Donald Trump have left a diplomatic vacuum re. Syria's postwar order is refore currently firmly in power of Russia, Iran and Turkey.

    "The West has been beaten out of game by its lack of willingness to participate more in Syria," says Sinan Ülgen, a former Turkish diplomat and now an analyst at Carnegie Europe. Russia, Iran and Turkey would now determine procedure.

    ANKARA-Russia, Iran and Turkey want to end Syria war quickly for years, Iran and Russia have supported Syrian regime in civil War. Iran's President Hassan Rohani said anyway: There is no military solution to conflict. © Photo: Umit Bektas/Reuters "rest on ground"

    In any event, Deescalation was high on agenda of Summit. In a press conference after ir talks, heads of State announced that y would work toger to ensure "rest on ground" in Syria. The three countries are guarantor powers of Astana negotiations, a peace process separate from faltering UN talks in Geneva.

    The tripartite group discussed expansion of so-called deescalation zones and efforts to create a new Syrian constitution – issues that Russia and Turkey debated at a meeting in January. The heads of state also promised to work toger on a long-term ceasefire.

    Russia and Turkey in particular showed a The day before, Erdoğan and Putin celebrated construction of Akkuyu nuclear power plant in sourn Turkey. The reactor is built by Russian state company Rosatom – according to Erdoğan and Putin a sign of growing Russian-Turkish cooperation.

    But in Syria, interests of three countries are far apart. Russia and Iran want to help Assad gain control of whole of Syria. The Moscow government is providing military assistance, while Iranian Revolutionary guards and Hezbollah militants supported by Tehran stand alongside Syrian army.

    Putin also wants to secure Russian interests such as military bases in Syria and expand his influence in Middle East – at expense of United States, if possible. Thus, Syria's future is closely linked to Putin's dream of reviving Russia as a great power.

    Updated Date: 05 April 2018, 12:02

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