Mideast Daily News

Nations Opposed to Syria’s Al-Assad Meet on Friday

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

February 16, 2017

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On Friday, nations opposing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will meet for the first time since President Donald Trump took office. The reason for the session is to strategize in advance of the Geneva peace talks that resume next week, attempting to secure unity in thought at the G-20 meeting. Observers note that with its successes on the battlefield and its reclaiming of land lost in previous fighting, the Syrian strongman has both momentum and the support of Russia and Iran as he seeks to finish what he started in March 2011, some 310,000 lives ago. The staggering death toll and the displacement of millions of Syrians are the civil war’s legacies. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be the new boy on the block in Geneva, allowing many fellow diplomats a first chance to meet the new American envoy and attempt to glean a clear US policy. Among others, Tillerson will be joined by colleagues from Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Lurking above the Friday meeting and next week’s G20 parley are questions concerning the US (read Trump) relationship with Russia and President Putin and how the new diplomatic alignment will influence the international community’s ability to broker an end to the fighting in Syria.

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