Russia Willing to Negotiate with US on Safe Zones in Syria

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Russia Willing to Negotiate with US on Safe Zones in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Earlier safe zone proponents, notably Hillary Clinton and other neocons infesting Washington, wanted regime change, Syria balkanized, its sovereign republic destroyed. 
Trump’s idea needs clarification. If intended to keep displaced Syrians safe in their own country, perhaps under UN auspices, stemming their flow abroad, Russia is amenable to considering it – provided Damascus agrees.
A government statement said any attempt to establish safe zones on its territory without its permission, including how and by whom they’d be administered, would constitute a “violation of (its) sovereignty.”
Syrians alone should decide these things, not foreign powers or other outsiders. Commenting on the idea, Lavrov said “in the process of our dialog with our US counterparts we will try to clear up this theme.”
Trump appears to be proposing something different than earlier – not a “replica of the events that took place in Libya and were used as a pretext for military intervention in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.”
“If the issue on the agenda is letting people who have been forced to abandon their homes as a result of the internal conflict in Syria feel secure, get the basic services and keep their children in safety where at least some education services are available until their homes have been restored and their native lands have returned to normal life, I believe that in cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other agencies, including the International Organization for Migration it might be possible to consider creation of safe havens for internally displaced persons in Syrian territory.”
“Of course, this will require practical coordination of the details and the very principle of creating such territories with the Syrian government. Work along these lines is already in progress.”
Russia is prepared to work with Washington on this issue and combating terrorism – knowing it’s dealing with a duplicitous nation, notoriously agreeing to one thing, then doing another, breaking its word time and again.
Is this time different? Don’t bet on it after so many previous betrayals.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.