Representatives of the Syrian opposition are going to participate in the Geneva talks on March 7th. They explained that at the previous round of the inter-Syrian consultations in Geneva, there were no “sufficient and objective conditions to start the talks,” and now they have been provided. The point is that humanitarian aid was provided and the ceasefire regime between the governmental troops and the opposition armed groups in Syria was established in Syria on February 27th. The ceasefire regime doesn’t involve ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terrorist groups.
The Center for Reconciliation of the Sides was established at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria, where 61 officers worked. The main goals of the center are encouragement of signing agreements on the ceasefire and maintenance of the ceasefire regime by leaders of the armed groups, as well as monitoring of their following and organization of providing humanitarian aid to the population.
Meanwhile, Boris Dolgov, Senior Fellow at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies, reminds that “the Syrian crisis, which has been ongoing for five years, is a specific part of the Arab Spring. But unlike those countries in which it started, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, where the main factors were internal (the social economic crisis and corruption of the ruling power groups that remained in power for decades), in Syria as in Libya there was not a social or economic crisis. If in Tunisia and Egypt the youth unemployment rate reached 50%, while in Syria it is from 8 to 14%. Syria provided itself with food. That is, the main reason for the Syrian crisis became an external factor.”
Speaking about the support of the external forces of radical Islamists and armed groups, Dolgov said that “the Persian Gulf monarchies, Turkey, the West continue external support of the groups, most of which are represented by foreign jihadists who came to Syria from 80 countries, including in the Arab-Muslim world, Europe and Russia, to fight, to fight against the leadership of Bashar al-Assad.”
According to Dolgov, “85% of Syria's population now lives on territory controlled by the government army. On other territories captured by militants, normal life is impossible. There's no electricity, there is no water supply, food supply, medicines; people are flowing away from there. I have seen it with my own eyes. We were shown the liberated areas, destroyed houses liberated from the militants, ruined architecture. Now a momentum is emerging to solve the Syrian crisis. That is, the truce and the negotiations are scheduled for March 7th. Here, I would certainly say that, of course, it is a positive step, there is no doubt, but there are a lot of difficulties on the way.”