U.S. National Security Council Middle East official, Brett McGurk, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Vershinin, and presidential envoy Alexander Lavrentiev will hold an official meeting on Syria in Geneva next week, according to al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper.
The newspaper pointed out that the meeting aims to lay the groundwork for avoiding a diplomatic clash between the two sides. This comes as the extension of the UN resolution on humanitarian aid approaches early next year and the increase in military escalations in northeastern Syria.
Washington is approaching a diplomatic entitlement in the Security Council at the beginning of the year. Therefore, it is seeking to coordinate with its allies by leading an expanded meeting of a number of major and regional countries on the sidelines of the International Coalition Against ISIS conference in Brussels on the second of next month, the newspaper added. Moscow also decided to organize a conference of “Astana guarantors” with the participation of Russia’s foreign ministers, Iran, and Turkey, in the middle of next month, to coordinate the situation between the three countries which are military present in Syria.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat predicted that the U.S. Russian meeting would constitute an occasion for a new negotiation in order to reach a new agreement ensuring that the U.S. would present guarantees to work during the next six months to implement the items related to “early recovery” and “cross-lines” aid. This would come in exchange for Russia’s agreement to an additional extension of the international resolution.
The newspaper concluded that this “concession” had already been pledged by Vershinin to McGurk last July.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.