Syria Talks Were Just "Theater”

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Russia, Iran and Turkey on Tuesday pledged to jointly enforce the fragile ceasefire in Syria, wrapping up two days of peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. The countries wrote in a statement that they will “seek, through concrete steps and using their influence over the parties, consolidation of the ceasefire” and will “establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire.”

Russia and Iran, which back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and Turkey, which supports the opposition, brokered the ceasefire in December. The three nations also organized this week’s two-day conference, attended by a delegation of Syrian rebels and representatives of the government regime. The UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, mediated the mostly indirect talks. The Trump administration did not send a delegation to Astana, but the U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan attended as an observer.

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