Last night in Monaco of Bavaria, at the end of a ‘marathon’, a ceasefire agreement was reached in relation to Syria. It will have to enter in force within seven days to allow the access of humanitarian aid to the civilian population. The announcement was made by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, during a press conference held at the end of the International Support Group meeting.
The truce involves all the parts “except for the Daesh and Al Nusra Front terrorists groups,” Kerry explained. “We have also decided to accelerate and expand the supply of humanitarian aid as of now” to a series of besieged cities – John Kerry said – mentioning Deir Ezzor, in Eastern Syria, where regime’s forces are besieged by the Islamic state.
Today in Geneva will take place a meeting of the working group under the guidance of the UN to apply the humanitarian dossier and “do the weekly reports.” Inter-Syrian negotiations, suspended because of the offensive of the regime supported by the Russian air force, “will be resumed as soon as possible,” – Kerry said again, and they will do so “without preconditions or ultimatums,” – Lavrov stressed.
The result of the Monaco meeting, however, might be invalidated by the Syrian opposition that rejected the ceasefire. Riad Hijab, president of the High Syrian opposition council, the delegation responsible for leading the UN-mediated talks with the government in Damascus, said that “deals will be impossible as long as the president (Bashar) Al Assad remains charge and the Pasdaran stay in Syria.
Here are the three main points of the agreement:
1) “Obviously,” violence in Syria must be curbed straight away. The ceasefire shall enter into force within a week. This concept, however, is interpreted with prudency and does not mean that gunshots will never be heard again. The Syrian opposition would accept an actual truce only if Assad resigned. Moreover, fight against the two terrorist groups (Islamic State and Al Nusra Front) connected to Al Qaida, are outside the ceasefire.
Lavrov stated that “our air force will continue its work against these organizations.” The observance of the ceasefire will be verified by a working group under the guidance of the US and Russia.
2) Humanitarian aid for the besieged areas will have to be allowed immediately. Monaco Declaration explicitly lists the places to which humanitarian convoys will be granted access.
3) The process of “political transition” and that of formation of a transitional government have to be resumed as soon as possible, as established by the resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council. The 17 members of ISSG reaffirmed that “the Syrian people will be the one to decide the future of Syria”, whereas they commit to facilitating an agreement to be reached within six months on a transitional government and to holding new elections within 18 months. As to the ultimate goal of this process, an agreement has not been reached yet. The West wants Bashar al Assad to resign, whereas Russia remains by his side.