The negotiations held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on January 23-24 marked a milestone towards a solution to the Syrian crisis that has been ongoing for 6 years.
The 24-hour-long talks, which ended with a joint statement by Russia, Iran and Turkey, also witnessed significant "firsts". The following are the prominent ones:
- Over the course of the Syrian civil war that has been continuing since 2011, for the first time, the representatives of the Syrian government, armed opposition groups, Iran, Turkey and Russia came together on an official platform. The UN Nations Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura spoke about the Astana negotiations in glowing terms, using the expression "something that has not happened before."
- The establishment of a trilateral control mechanism under the guarantee of Russia, Iran and Turkey in order to ensure a permanent ceasefire in Syria is a crucial solution-oriented step that will ensure the continuity, speed and stability of the peace talks;
- By taking a stand on the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Syria, all parties that participated in the meeting dealt the most critical political blow to the foul design of the world deep state and its proxies, which has aimed for decades to divide the region into smaller, easy-to-control parts.
- This initiative showed that regardless of the groups, sects and views, Muslims can escape the hostility and conflict they are dragged into by the plots of the deep state and additionally they can certainly gather around a table and unite in common benefits and conclusions;
- The Astana talks proved that even the smallest and well-intentioned step towards the solidarity and cooperation among Muslims can lead to great achievements. In contrast to the four years of the Geneva talks that has yet to produce any solution, the 24-hour-long Astana negotiations achieved significant tangible progress;
- The tripartite mechanism comprised of Russia, Iran and Turkey that will monitor the ceasefire process reached a mutual consensus for the first-time stating, "there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and it can only be solved through a political peace process". The same statement included that the trilateral mechanism supports the participation of the opposition groups in the Geneva talks that will open at the end of February.
- All the participant parties in the meeting made it clear that they definitely won’t deal with militant groups such as the PYD/YPG, or radical, blood-shedding structures such as ISIS and al-Nusra willing to have a share in the region by taking advantage of this environment laden with crises and conflicts. Thus, the negotiations put forth a strong common stance stating that the deep world state and its proxies could not have a say in the future of Syria and the region.
- It became evident that Iran, which has long been facing a difficult challenge against the severe pressures, threats and sanctions of imperialism, can participate to be a significant international actor when supported by true friends and allies;
- The steps of a yet-to-be-named new and very powerful global alliance have been taken that is henceforth determined to have a true say in the region: "Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance..." This powerful alliance now exudes a strong image and impression that will become a major determining factor especially in the future of the Middle East, Africa and the entire world of Islam.
The foresight, rational and agreeable attitudes of the guarantor countries, which refrain from pursuing strict policies as necessitated by their centuries-old historical experiences and deep-rooted state traditions, made a positive impact on the regime and the opposition forces as well. Thus, it resulted in a mild, optimistic and a reconciliatory picture. The guarantor countries adopting honest, just and sincere attitudes, which is in contrast to the behavioral patterns of the deep powers that are full of the usual insidious, double-dealing, sneaky and secret plans and agendas, had substantially contributed to this positive picture.
Positive and promising statements made by the representatives of the parties after the talks in Astana were also indicative of the success achieved in the path to permanent peace and solution for Syria.
Expressing his support for the joint statement by the three guarantor countries, Syrian government representative Bashar Jaafari said, "We finally have a document based on consensus that everyone agrees upon." The opposition spokesman Yahya al-Aridi stated that, "The opposition is ready to do everything to give life to Syria, even to negotiate under such freezing temperatures to give a chance to ceasefire." Moscow, Tehran, Ankara and the UN also express their faith at every opportunity in the political solution, and the establishment of permanent peace and ceasefire for Syria.
Astana negotiations have definitely been a great beginning for the solution of the Syrian crisis. This newly opened path should be treaded decisively without paying any regard to the comments from the deep media trying to overshadow its success at every opportunity by its tense, pessimistic and provocative tone.
A great duty and responsibility fall on all parties, especially on the guarantor countries, with regard to the permanence of the ceasefire and the establishment of the process of peace, stability and normalization in Syria. For Syria, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-sectarian country, the most urgent need is to ultimately attain a democracy where all parties will be represented fairly and equally by following the required transitional periods.
As a global superpower, Russia's role and impact on the solution of the Syrian crisis is beyond question. Having said that, Iran and Turkey, two fellow Muslim countries, working in close cooperation is particularly vital for the happiness and welfare of both Syria and the Muslim community.
The best response and the most effective solution to the provocations carried out by the deep powers over denominational and ethnic differences, the wars they fueled over these factors, and the genocide they pursue against Muslims through this method in Syria and other countries of the region will again be the beautiful and unfaltering cooperation these two great Muslim countries will maintain in a spirit of unity, brotherhood and solidarity.
When the spirit of unity prevails over division, amity over enmity, friendship and brotherhood over dissension, if God is willing, the dark powers will perish in the same way salt dissolves in the water, ushering in a brand new era for the world of Islam.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Tehran Times & Jefferson Corner: