tv Inside Story 2017 Ep 326 Al Jazeera November 23, 2017 8:32pm-9:00pm +03
so they have been facing some serious international pressure so they need to show some progress resolving the situation the un is urging australia to help deescalate tensions out of prison camp it used to run for refugees in papua new guinea to be sent to the facility or man asylum trying to evict hundreds of refugees who are refusing to leave around fifty asylum seekers are believed to have left but more than three hundred remain. security and political sources have told al-jazeera that zimbabwe's former president robert mugabe has been granted immunity from prosecution they say the deal was brokered as part of his resignation guaranteeing his safety in zimbabwe and letting him avoid exile the sources say mugabe stated that he wants to die in his home country. argentinean navy says a noise detected near the last known location of a missing submarine with qantas four crew on board is consistent with an explosion a huge sea of their search is underway off the coast of argentina for. more.
so the president has offered to make his country russia's gateway to africa ahead of a meeting with russian president vladimir putin in sochi omar al bashir says saddam needs protection from aggressive actions by the u.s. who uses a provoking conflicts in the region he's also hinted at allowing russia to use sudan's red sea faces and those are the latest headlines here on al-jazeera stay with us up next it's inside story. so that the that . russia's plan to end the war in syria after six years of fighting is the kremlin now in the diplomatic driver's seat and is the white house taking a backseat this is inside story.
it was. it was. jane dutton welcome to the program russia's leader says a new stage has been set for a political solution to the war in syria let me a putin has welcomed the presidents of iran and turkey to map out a strategy for when the fighting stops notably absent from the negotiating table united states how much influence does president donald trump have over putin when it comes to syria and can peace really be achieved with bashar al assad still in power we'll discuss this and more with our guests in a moment but first chalons reports from saatchi in southern russia. the war in syria is nearly over said the three presidents meeting in sochi now it's
time to rebuild the shattered country. thinks a plan he's been pushing for weeks now is gaining momentum. i am satisfied by the fact that the presidents of iran and turkey have supported an initiative to hold an all syrian forum a congress of national dialogue in syria the kremlin driven initiative aims to bring a broad spectrum of syrian government opposition and civil society groups to sochi in early december to plan for the country's future. and join me in congo we have all talked about oppositions all three countries have spoken in favor of convening this congress of national dialogue. but the president has been telling putin he won't accept kurdish groups linked to the p.k. k. being there and turkey's president still seems lukewarm on the idea. of them.
let me agree with president putin and he said we need to build on the momentum achieved as we talked together with mr rouhani we agreed that we need to extend our ties in all the areas. even less enthusiastic is the syrian opposition group the h n c which says it refuses to discuss the future of syria outside of the un's geneva framework at an opposition conference beginning in the saudi capital riyadh early indications are that groups will keep their insistence asaad must go despite pressure to compromise with his plan for a congress of national dialogue russia seems keen to shake the political future of syria much like it's already shapes the conflict if putin successful this will be to the benefits of his ally asaad and yet again the dreams of the opposition will suffer talons al-jazeera.
let's not get the thoughts of our guests joining us in moscow pavel felgenhauer he's a russia defense and foreign policy analyst in oxford samuel romani pacey candidates at the university of oxford samuel is a specialist in russian middle east affairs and is a regular contributor to the diplomats and washington post and via skype in rome but i'm audie ambassador of the syrian national coalition to italy a very warm welcome to the three of you imadi russia's plan kind of where you like it and well museum the plan of russia actually. may interact the international court agreed by the security council. resolution two to fight for it stimulated that peace process should start in geneva and. united nations facilitation and this has been given important for some time
unfortunately did not want to negotiate russia is supporting now what is what is what is happening now is an attempt by our effort to change that. jack the reason these forces from geneva and change it into sochi to take their sortie now the problem is that in sochi they are going to invite about one thousand or more from syria and from outside but they will invite more people. who are supporting russia than opposition who started the revolution in the first place so i think this conference we only. malling to avoid the international legitimacy decided by the united nations they did that before by the way we invest and they separated the military track from. diplomatic.
help by pressuring military groups to attend actually groups didn't have and you know they just attended to witness what was and the whole thing was devised by russia and iran but have a long and how are you as cynical when it comes to the russian plan of money would you make of the russian plan or if it's just a plan to push russia to the front of everything that's happening in syria the man but syria is just part of the big game that's happening in the middle east and on not only in the middle east for russia the main thing is to build an anti american coalition with iran and hopefully with turkey on the basis of this syrian campaign of course iran and russia are already kind of anti american russian military both by the poor and forces in syria russia outflanked nato but the
ultimate goal would be to part possibly pull turkey away from the united states and nato and of course syria is important because an asset is important for russia because he can guarantee that russia will retain military naval base on the syrian mediterranean coast and even more importantly and their base there so this is just part of it and russia is using what's happening right now in syria to promote its overall strategic intentions which you're even much wider than the entire middle east sammael ramani. this plan it seems when you listen to both of these guys got very little to do with sirius rather pushing russia to the forefront and getting rid of the us there i think that this is more than just a ploy for syria and it's all over bases and all over tactical asses they're just removing the u.s.
and syria by using russia's unique status is how they have that lovely favorable relationship with iran and saudi arabia and a wide range of other regional stakeholders combined with their outreach to both the kurds and the syrian government and u.s. handful of syrian opposition factions russia is trying to demonstrate that it is able to preserve and has led to security in the entire middle east and using this excess in syria possibly as a present for future interventions in yemen and saudi arabia iran diplomatic standoff and with qatar's i think that this is a very significant step for russia russia is using as a benchmark and there's a lot of stake for them pavol you mentioned the reasons why russia would get involved also from a political point of view but what about putin trying to reinstate himself as an international hard hitter and to divert attention away from the insurgency in his own country well actually it was rather a pretty magic move which happened in the last several years beginning from a wait from the russian war short war with georgia when they go for naval forces
went into the black sea and dominated it and the russian military are doing trying to do their best that that would never happen again that means moving out into the mediterranean moving out into the middle east gaining military bases and allies in the middle east boding bridges with the american allies even with with israel and with saudi arabia and especially with turkey which is preoccupied of course right now mostly with the kurds the kurds in syria the kurds in turkey itself and the gun of course is preoccupied with also with his internal opposition and turkey and is. very much annoyed by the united states refusing to extradite. him from who he believes is our enemy from america so russia is using that so this is a kind of defensive push whether it's trying to push russia's strategic defensive winds as far away from russia from the cork as us deeper into the middle east into
the mediterranean which is a very strong tradition the russian strategy coming from times of the czars actually but so how do syrians feel about russia basically being given the go ahead to be in the diplomatic driver's seat when it comes to peace in the country i don't think she knows given that russia. is trying to impose itself on the problem and it seems that they have we've given the go ahead haven't them and said to me the u.s. has said that iran is nobody else will believe that charge. you are right that americans have been passive. they have been sitting in the back seat but we don't know they now are trying to take in the north east of syria and have some bases there and they already don't and we don't know what's going to
happen with. this statement from the spokesman in the white house telling direct that confidence in sochi is not going to work because he hinted to the international legitimacy in geneva anyway for the syrians russian intervention is the one thing that prevented from falling down and therefore we can see that russia as an enemy because we initially of the syrian people is to go back to normal life after forty years of dictatorship they have reported against this and they continue that neither russia nor any other fall power to spain to stop them from. going to. bear so russia. succeed in that conference because really. you know you should enforce this we know that. they cannot go on. so i mean that is a problem isn't it the syrian opposition will not accept assad remaining in power
and it seems that he is not going anyway so how do you get around that is a time for the opposition to say right we get it he's not going to go let's compromise on that issue i mean this is a very difficult problem is probably the biggest one and i think that there are however a lot of divisions that exist within the syrian opposition so stephanie mr a the u.n. members than different syria urged the opposition to appear united but apparently that has not been the case i mean the energy who is the saudi representative has openly resigned from that which has been praised by the russians as a victory against extremism because it categorically wants no dialogue with assad but there are some other factions of the opposition whether they be some members of the s.d.f. some members of the moderate opposition who are concerned about news or is risin in a live in some other areas who could be open to dialogue and could be open to negotiation but that being said i think russia's seen a lot like the scene in israel palestine by the scene as a stakeholder this pretending to be indifferent but actually has
a vested interest and i think that the lack of unity in the divisions within the the the branches in saudi arabia the branches in egypt the greatest guitar the domestic branches in damascus all the factions within the syrian opposition and the fighting even amongst the even amongst the kurdish factions in amongst others makes this very with the agreement on whether it's had to go or stay very difficult as of now a lot of international support and a lot of territory would rationally push them into a direction of a political settlement and as these for the which is the combined goal but i think that there's often an absence and dearth of rational they coming from various factions in the opposition let's talk probably little bit more about divisions in the country and who gets water and who gets what spoils i mean how does that conversation develop is it something that assad's regime should say all right the opposition can keep control of their resort for example or is in a position where he doesn't have to compromise. well moscow would want him to
compromise and take on board as much of the opposition as possible the russian military officers that are working on the so called the conflicting zones they are using more west the same tactics as the russians used in the northern caucasus and quelling the chichen. opposition and separatist kind of recruiting within the opposition recruiting fighters in the opposition to making them turncoat and integrating them. because but because of the fraction from the very fraction of the situation in syria over the different religious and ethnic groups that's very hard to do the pro a rainy and forces don't want to see the sunni's much around the our rights have their own interests everyone has his own interests and so it's quite frustrating
part often for the russian operatives on the ground to persuade the acid regime and other allies that the iranian web militias to begin to kind of integrates with parts of the opposition but that would be basically the russian goal russia has a very clear strategic go and buoys that it has clear tactical ways of achieving it the main problem. and i think i've stated doesn't apparently have any kind of clear view what it really wants to achieve and it's i don't mean that i'm willing russia doesn't have enough air its arsenal any i mean where is the u.s. here i mean they are notable by their absence we know that donald trump has placed a few calls but clearly syria's not top of his agenda is that a mistake for the u.s. to be removed at this time i think it is a mistake yes for the u.s. to be involved and not be involved in this conflict it is. and shed but i also think that russia is deliberately trying to make the negotiations in
a way that's very very not amenable to the s.s. so much like the way the holding talks in afghanistan right now there and clean the taliban actually in the us they're also not rebels as a debate themselves and distance themselves from some u.s. backed opposition factions like the s.d.s. russians notably been distancing themselves from them because of issues with some with arabs leaving and some others leaving in internal conflicts i mean there's been a lot of provocative actions from the russians either making the u.s. not want to intervene that being said i think the united states should use its leverage over over saudi arabia qatar turkey external actors to continue to be either on the fence or backing syrian opposition to kind of urge their respective opposition groups or working within those countries to push for a political settlement that has not been done by chance and that that is a big problem but some if as you suggested earlier on all the opposition or whoever goes to the table either sycophants or they bought into russia's plan are attending
then what sort of compromises do you think would be played out here and way do you think russia sorry the u.s. should be sitting in this scenario what would the syrians like to see on on all sides the only thing acceptable by the syrian people not only position i'm talking about all syrians from all all the religious groups whatever you want this talk about they are united on one thing a set must go to man after killing one million people destroying the percent of the country. half a million people how can you imagine that such a person could go on ruling the country it's not a matter of in this ministry or that ministry it's a measure of the future of syrian people generations who have given up their mind because they were trying to fight against this dictatorship now the only thing acceptable by serious is the removal of that. if russia is not able to deliver that
nothing will happen it will go on if we get stuck in the war and i think that you let it go in that swarm. around and that's. because without removing nothing will happen and the iranians are insisting on keeping a sense in part because without him iran would not have anything in syria that they have invested a lot and he's the only one who would keep that missile launches on the same level they have also missed a lot and the only person who gives them as much as he gave is is. let me have a lot scott as well and the syrians and the world that this man who is accused of killing. hundreds of thousands of people remains in power i mean he is the legitimate leader now the man to do business with yes of course russia russia our saga seen as essential. and embraced. in person and saatchi just
a day ago and the russian military intelligence community has been working with the asset family and it's kind of circle of military intelligence people sense a long time ago for forty years there's a lot of very much interaction personal interaction many of those people and those generals are known to russians stressed trained in russian military academies so keeping the acid and also keeping the assets family hierarchy of military and intelligence and security people that's seen as the only guarantee that russia could get that syria is going to be a reliable russian base and its kind of grand stand offs with the united states and the mediterranean and the middle eastern region so russia is not giving up assad
the main problem of the russian effort in syria actually is that we don't have sufficient resources especially resources to rebuild syria konami and financial and without rebuilding there will be no peace there at all and they've called on the international community to help them rebuild a new i guess want to say well it's your problem i mean there's a real concern about corruption samuel in the asaad government that if you give them humanitarian aid it's it is going to get to the wrong people but that's looking far ahead isn't it i mean we've still got to deal with turkey's issues for example i mean that seems to be the most reluctant partner there of the. three way meeting yeah definitely. the corruption issue is obviously very large in the a nations has been working directly with the syrian government and eighty percent of the humanitarian supplies that have been going up and going to the government held territories are very little being given to the opposition so that is a big problem turning to turkey hafsa league review turkey stance is the most in the u.s. of all the great powers in this area while russia iran of trying to frame this
victory in syria to be a conflict against extremism turkey has emphasized the end to as distances of this talk of islamic extremism and the ending the bloodletting and ending the and creating a settlement but in reality it is actually encouraging a lot of the bloodletting it is that you're going to intervene militarily in africa and that is doing so with covert russians apart possibly now which is not them in that the russians would have probably back a few months a few months ago so until turkey can recognize either with russia's proposal of creating namely syria from syrian arab republic genuinely include the kurds and kurdish groups within the constitutional framework then they're actually acting in the saboteur rather than the vents or pace but ultimately one would think that this is all about bringing peace to the country and for refugees to return. what do you think it's going to take for refugees to return and how do you think they've determined that the war is nearly over is it the sheer scale of destruction the
number of people have died what was the key there. just mentioned before. i said oh. and by the way this is one of the main conditions fully built in the country by the west or by other countries anyway the problem is that as you mentioned the corruption in the country now we have seen some money has been given back to rebuild the country. and the regime has taken this money to rebuild the areas which are a light. source so again. is that. if you use our force we returned but they were not. those people who came back to some of you know there are very few they have been told. but i said so many things have been done for them therefore people would not go back if this. is actually
said and as i said before when spite of the russian plan as well that's been proposed they doesn't really seem to be anything that's going to be able to unlock all the factors to bring all the key players to the table exactly i mean i feel like their piece it is very far away and in part because there's so much factional of the battles and have been fermented by individual opposition and regional actors i mean al nusra is blatantly arming rival factions and causing them to fight against each other and they control it live in a control large quantities of opposition here for an hour and there and they're major force that neither power is able to deal with and there's countless other instances which russia's reaching out as said to change tribes and tribal leaders injections down to pull them over by the prying them away from the areas they can chiron whether the oil and gas or whether they have a less. i do nothing for other guys so there's kind of like a sectarian ism within isn't turning in that existing in syria has very worrying and no great power wield power or internal actors be able to deal with this so i
think the pieces very far away as long as this had once used violence as long as the opposition are amazing united probably want to say something briefly if you will oh very briefly. isis is off the board priest as a quasi state and a major military force as though it's of course will continue as a terrorist organization sure well and isis was the uniting factor everyone was against isis were that uniting factor out now there is no common goal and everyone is going to follow his own interest all the outside powers and actually inside syria different fractions do so the situation is actually more fractured and more unpredictable than it was before but also again how it sank you very much for those final comments samuel romani u two and by some in mali thank you very much and thank you for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page
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