Quartet Meeting agreed on External Support Formula for Political Process in Syria*
By Manar al-Frieh, Manal, Hazem Sabbagh
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed that the participants in the quartet meeting agreed on a formula for external support related to the political process in Syria.
A meeting which brought together foreign ministers of Russia, U.S., Saudi Arabia and Turkey kicked off in Vienna on Friday to discuss the crisis in Syria.
Following the talks which lasted for about two hours in Vienna, Lavrov pointed out that the formula which was agreed on is not final, stressing the need to bring Iran and Egypt on board in the next round of consultations.
Lavrov noted that Russia presented during the meeting certain ideas about the settlement in Syria and informed the other participants about the results of the visit of President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow last Tuesday.
The ministers agreed on the need to preserve Syria as a unified secular sovereign state, Lavrov said.
He noted that there were rumours about agreement at the meeting President al-Assad will leave after a certain time period, but these rumours are baseless, and Russia’s position in this regard was reaffirmed and clarified by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a very recent speech.
Lavrov said that Russia knows how the situation evolves following a “regime replacement” scenario like what happened in Libya and Iraq, and therefore the Russian position can be summed up by saying that the fate of President al-Assad is decided by the Syrian people alone, and not by fighting or political coupes.
He also addressed rumours claiming that Russia is trying to convince President al-Assad to hold early parliamentary elections, saying that such decisions are to be made by the Syrians themselves and therefore they must engage in dialogue, adding that the meeting discussed how to bring the Syrian government and a joint opposition delegation to the dialogue table.
The Minister said that the Americans, Saudis, and Turks have affirmed their commitment to the first Geneva communiqué, adding that this four sides that attended this meeting aren’t enough to resolve the crisis in Syria and more sides must take part, including Security Council members and other states like Egypt, Iran, Qatar, the UAE, and Jordan, stating that 12 influential states should be a sufficient number in this regard.
Lavrov also said that that Russia and Jordan agreed to coordinate between their defence ministries on daily basis regarding counter-terrorism operations in Syria, adding that he offered the Americans, Saudis, and Turks to benefit from this mechanism to facilitate the fighting of terrorism, but so far they haven’t accepted this idea.
Earlier on Friday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held bilateral meetings with U.S. counterpart John Kerry and Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh, affirming that It is necessary to hold extensive negotiations between representatives of the Syrian government and a whole spectrum of the opposition.
Lavrov had announced then that the Russian and Jordanian military agreed to create a coordination centre in Amman, which will be used by the two countries to share information on the counter- terrorism operations, calling on other countries to join.
In implementation of the agreement between Syria and Russia to combat international terrorism and eliminate ISIS, Russian aircrafts, in cooperation with the Syrian army’s Air Force has launched since Sep 30th airstrikes against positions of terrorist organizations, inflicting heavy losses on terrorists.