Will U.S. Really Pull Out Troops From Syria, Russia is Asking?

Published January 10th, 2019 - 01:39 GMT
U.S. troops in Syria. (AFP/File Photo)
U.S. troops in Syria. (AFP/File Photo)

Preparations are underway for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Russia, which is expected to take place in the near future, but no dates have been set yet, announced the Kremlin.

Two weeks ago, Turkey announced it is discussing a new Russian-Turkish summit in January, but Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "We are making preparations for such a visit that will take place in the near future, if not very soon. However, no dates have been set yet.”

Russian media sources said that the Syrian file will be strongly present during the upcoming summit, along with other matters, especially in the implementation of the deal to supply Turkey with the Russian missile systems “S400”.

On the Syrian matter, observers believe both Russia and Turkey are seeking to complete the understandings on the level of joint action and the need to deal with the vacuum that will happen if the United States implemented the decision to withdraw from Syria.

However, Russia is questioning the seriousness of Washington's plans to implement the decision to withdraw.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday it was hard to believe that the US would pull out of Syria completely under the current circumstances, given the strong position of those who support the continued US military presence in Syria.

"I cannot imagine that the United States will fully and indisputably leave Syria in terms of physical military presence in the current situation where Washington is locked in an unstoppable contest for world domination and driven to be present everywhere and resolve issues only on its own conditions," Ryabkov told reporters.

The diplomat stressed that contacts on Syria between Russia and the US would not stop even if they were not always announced, there were no long pauses in the talks.

“The contacts on various aspects of the situation in Syria do not stop… These contacts are not always announced; if the information on them becomes widely available, they attract additional attention. But the contacts are ongoing on various issues. There will be contacts on other topics in the near future… The breaks in the contacts may be different, but there are no long pauses,” he asserted

Meanwhile, Russia launched a new campaign against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) stating that the new mechanism will undermine the peaceful settlement in Syria.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the OPCW, Alexander Shulgin indicated that empowering the Organization with punitive functions will undermine the peace process, which starts in early 2019.

Speaking during an interview, Shulgin noted that if the organization’s mandate expands, the West would be given carte blanche on blaming Damascus for any sort of chemical attacks, which devalues its participation in a peaceful settlement.

The diplomat also assessed the current relations between Moscow and Amsterdam and explained how Russian diplomatic methods differ from that of the US.

He added that Western countries look forward to the establishment of a prestigious international organization to directly charge the Syrian leadership of using chemical weapons, which puts the peace settlement with the participation of Damascus in question.

Schulgen reiterated his country's refusal to finance the special body, which the organization has decided to develop to implement its new initiative to identify the sides they consider perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks.

In November, Russia said it was strongly against turning the Organization into a “punitive body,” noting that if it receives the right to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks the issue of the organization’s encroachment into the sphere of exclusive prerogatives of the US Security Council will become particularly relevant.

"It is safe to say that the initiative stems from the US’ desire to dominate the world, bringing everything, including international organizations, under their control," Shulgin said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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