In the aftermath of two major terrorist attacks in Ankara and Berlin, the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow to talk about Syria. Not only did this meeting confirm Cyceon‘s information that the Russian government does not hold the Turkish government responsible for the assassination of its Ambassador Andrey Karlov.
But the three ministers agreed to fully fight against terrorism in Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressly designated the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Al-Nosra group (Al Qaeda) as the two main enemies to be targeted by this tripartite cooperation.
Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu extended his condolences to his “friend” Lavrov and insisted on the unprecedented nature of this meeting considering the participation of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. The three officials expressed their satisfaction with the unanimous adoption of UNSC resolution 2328 regarding the sending of observers to facilitate the evacuation of “rebels” and civilians from East-Aleppo. Such a meeting could be renewed in the future, since it is according to Moscow “the most effective format” in order to establish a durable solution in Syria.
This meeting has been important for four main reasons: first, it enshrined the Russian-Turkish rapprochement, while a Turkish-Iranian discussion on Syria seemed unthinkable a few months ago. Secondly, it confirmed Russia’s leadership in the Middle East and ultimately excluded the United States and its Western allies, notably France.
Thirdly, this meeting confirmed the imminent “victory” of the Russia-Syria-Iran alliance after more than five years of war; and the military defeat of the “anti-Assad opposition” and their supporters in the Sunni Gulf monarchies. Fourthly, the “departure” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems not to be a pre-condition anymore.