Moscow recently witnessed heated activity on Syria with the invitation of an opposition delegation to Moscow less than a month ago, plans for Staffan de Mistura to visit Damascus, and finally a visit by Walid al-Muallem to meet with Lavrov and Putin. The visit of Prince Saud al-Faisal to Moscow can be viewed in the same context.
Will we see any results from these meetings? Can Russia actually be a mediator between the ally it supports militarily and politically and turn a blind eye against his crimes against his own people, and the actual representatives of the interests of Syrian people?
The United States and the Obama administration in particular do not consider stopping the massacre against the Syrian people among its priorities, as America has set its priorities to prevent ISIS from threatening its strategic interests in Iraq. In Syria, the aircrafts of the Arab-American Alliance are still engaged in a marathon war against ISIS in Kobani that has lasted nearly three months without significant results other than the destruction of the vast majority of buildings in the city and the displacement of more than 200,000 people to misery camps.
The Arab League and its countries are completely absent from the Syrian events. Except for some shy moves made by Saudi Arabia or Qatar, we do not see a serious Arab movement in order to try to put an end to the continuous Syrian bloodshed. This is in fact surprising because the continuation of the Syrian bleeding, the killing and torturing, in addition to the increasing predominance of sectarian militias funded by Iran to support the mafia of Assad family will attract many of the Arab and Muslim youth to ISIS and Al-Qaeda as forces that have the same criminal desire but with an opposite sectarian tendency, and raises the alarm of a sectarian war that will not stop at the border of Syria.
Turkey remains interested in the stability of its southern border. It wants to end the Syrian tragedy radically through developing the international alliance to include the mafia of Assad and the militias supporting him, as a means to force him to accept a political solution to stop the Syrian bloodshed. This corresponds to the interests of the Syrian people, but finds strong opposition in the Obama administration, and cannot find enough Arab support to exercise joint pressure on Obama's administration to change its position.
The U.S. administration does not want to help end this tragedy, so the Russians offered to take the initiative and called for a political solution they can lead and direct to show their return to the international stage as a superpower, especially since these moves do not bother the U.S. and Europe who want to pass time to suggest that there are efforts to resolve this dilemma.
But are the Russians really the appropriate party to lead this move? Are they neutral enough to gather all the parties? This will be revealed during the upcoming days, though the situation does not look promising after the statements from Muallem and Lavrov in Moscow.
A realistic hope in a political solution that achieves the aspirations of the Syrian people will be through the activities of Arab countries. Specifically, through unifying the efforts of the Arab Gulf states (in addition to Egypt, Jordan and Turkey) to exploit Russian desire and put pressure on the United States to take the Syrian file back to the U.N. Security Council to impose a solution on all the parties, a solution to stop the Syrian bloodshed and prevent the emergence of a sectarian war that may destroy the region.