Who’s Coming to Syria Peace Talks?

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Who’s Coming to Syria Peace Talks?
by Stephen Lendman
On January 23, after Trump succeeds Obama, they’ll begin in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Who’s coming remains uncertain until delegations arrive and it’s known which parties are involved. ISIS and al-Nusra are excluded from talks. Key terrorist group Ahrar al-Sham said it’s not coming, while supporting other anti-government forces intending to participate.
The UN may serve as mediator like before, accomplishing nothing, abandoning impartiality in support of Western interests.
Syrian UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari will head his government’s delegation – an experienced no-nonsense negotiator, serving his nation honorably.
According to Syria’s Al-Watan daily, he’ll be accompanied by “figures representing the military and the Syrian judiciary, so that the delegation will represent the whole Syrian state.”
The Saudi cobbled together High Negotiations Committee umbrella organization, composed of anti-Syrian terrorists groups, reportedly will attend, Jaysh al-Islam leadership member Mohammad Alloush its chief negotiator.
The organization is ideologically extremist, comprised of former ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist group fighters.
It’s supported by Washington, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, noted for committing appalling atrocities. Throughout six years of conflict, it represented a major threat to Syria’s survival as a sovereign state.
It’s unclear if a US delegation will attend. Sergey Lavrov said “the form, in which invitations are sent, allows ensuring the participation of all who are mentioned in public statements, including US representatives.”
“We think it would be the right thing to invite the representatives of the UN and the new US administration to the meeting, taking into account that the meeting will take place on January 23, as planned.”
“We’re counting on the new (US) administration accepting this invitation and being represented by experts on any level they consider possible.” 
“It will be the first official contact during which we could begin discussing stepping up the efficiency of fighting terrorism in Syria.”
Former foreign minister, key Iranian government international affairs advisor Ali Akbar Velayati, opposes US participation, saying “(t)hose who patronized terrorists, equipped them and were defeated at the battleground, now want to be present in the political field for advancing their interests.”
“The US initially insisted on overthrowing the legitimate authorities of Syria and bringing in a puppet regime instead of them.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly opposes the US participation in the intra-Syrian talks in Astana.” 
“If this happens, then tomorrow Saudi Arabia and Qatar will seek to take part in these talks – the countries that played a major role in equipping and sending terrorists to Syria.”
Velayati hopes talks this time can succeed after three failed attempts in Geneva, undermined by Washington and its rogue allies.
Will Trump work cooperatively for conflict resolution? Will he act responsibly or continue Obama’s imperial agenda? It’s unknown until his policies become clear.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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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.