PHOTO: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Following the US announcement of limitation of contacts with Russia over Syria’s crisis, I appeared on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s The World on Tuesday to assess the situation and review Washington’s three-year “strategic failure”, following Russia’s lead for a “mythical” political resolution.
We weren’t on track for a “peace deal”. The US has followed Russian efforts for three years now with the hope of a political settlement, but Russia’s aim has always been the maintenance of the Assad regime — if not the President himself — in power.
The talks have been more of a cover for Russian military action, notably the bombing in Aleppo which has killed hundreds of civilians in the past week alone.
And the near future?
We are on hold right now, regarding both the political talks and what Assad’s future might be, because we are going to have a new US Administration. If it’s a Clinton Administration, she as Secretary of State was much firmer than President Obama in seeing a future without Assad and she has been much stronger than President Obama in favoring protected zones. Those could — they don’t mean yes but they could — mark a notable change in US policy from January.