18:20 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, and US Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting in Moscow.

    This is What Prompted US to Come to Agreement With Russia on Syria

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    Advances of the Syrian Army in Aleppo are a sign that the Syrian war is nearing its end. This fact prompted Washington to make concessions in the Geneva talks with Moscow, a political analyst said.

    Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and United States Secretary of State John Kerry have reached a breakthrough agreement on Syria following marathon talks in what is the closest the international community has come to resolving the conflict in Syria.

    During a press briefing on September 9, Lavrov described the agreement as a "significant, practical and concrete" package, comprising five documents that will not be made public since they contain "rather sensitive and serious information."

    The US made a number of concessions to Russia during the talks. The reason is the latest success of the Syrian Army in Aleppo, Viktor Sergeyev, professor of political science at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said.

    "Washington delayed this agreement during the recent six months. This US acquiescence was prompted by the breakthrough by Syrian forces in Aleppo," he told RIA Novosti.

    The agreement between Russia and the US on Syria includes several important points, including securing a nationwide ceasefire and – when hostilities stop – establishing a Joint Implementation Center to develop military strikes against terrorists. The agreement also requires humanitarian access to areas in need.

    Lavrov added that the top priority for this agreement is to reconfirm the ceasefire, stressing that both the US and Russia will work will with all parties to ensure that hostilities cease within the next 48 hours.

    "Recently, combat actions have been focused on Aleppo. The recent advances of the Syrian Army prove that the war is nearing its end. If the army takes full control over Aleppo it will be almost over. In the north, in Raqqa, there are US-backed Kurdish forces. Of course, destroying Daesh militants in Raqqa will take some time, but there will no problem with that," the expert said.

    He added that the next issue to address should be resumption of the intra-Syrian talks, which should include all opposition groups.

    "The participation of opposition groups in the talks is possible. The question is whether they would be able to come to an agreement," Sergeyev noted.

    "Currently, opposition groups are weak. On the other hand, they want to preserve their positions. The situation is unstable and the coming ceasefire could be broken at any moment," he added.

    The expert also underscored that after if Washington pressures the opposition the ceasefire will work.

    Another major problem is Syrian President Bashar Assad and his role in country’s future. The West and opposition insist that Assad must go but in Syria there is no other politician able to control the situation.

    "The Assad problem remains. It can’t be ruled out that he will have to resign. But it’s still unclear who can replace him. If there is no proper candidate to replace Assad the situation won’t improve," Sergeyev said.

    The expert suggested that during the talks Russia’s main goal would be to keep Assad in any role because now he is the only who can more or less control the situation.

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    Tags:
    ceasefire, military conflict, talks, agreement, Daesh, John Kerry, Sergei Lavrov, Syria, United States, Russia
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