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Washington and Moscow agree to a new peace process in Syria

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Following the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to his Russian opposite number, Sergeï Lavrov, in Sotchi the 12th May 2015, the journey of the US special envoy for Syria, Daniel Rubinstein, the 18th May in Moscow, and the telephone conference of the 21st May, the United Stataes and Russia have agreed to a peace process in Syria.

This agreement was initiated by Washington, although the US has been expressing a marked cooling of their diplomatic relations with Moscow over the last several months .

It was admitted that Washington and Moscow were pursuing their cooperation for the eradication of chemical weapons in Syria (given that Israël and Egypt are the only powers in the region that still possess them).

It seems to have been agreed that President Bachar el-Assad will complete his seven-year term, but that the negotiations will have a bearing on the composition of his government.

The Syrian opposition is presently represented by the « National Coalition » (pro-Qatari) for the international instances. However, the Coalition has boycotted the last peace talks organised by Russia. The other political parties carry on in disorder.

It has been agreed that two new instances will be created in order to reassemble the various opposition movements:
- The « Syrian National Opposition » (independent) will be created on the 8th and 9th June in Cairo (Egypt) by the political parties of Syria and exiled representatives ;
- another coordination will be formed under the auspices of Saudi Arabia, in June or July in Riyad.

These three groups and the Syrian government will be invited to a peace conference this summer in Kazakhstan (a Musslim state allied with Russia).

Translation
Pete Kimberley

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