Trump declines Russian invite to send delegation to Syria peace talks
Bethan McKernan, ‘Independent’ (UK), Jan 22 2017
Donald Trump has decided not to send a delegation to planned talks on Syria, which begin in the Kazakh capital next week. Pindostan was belatedly given a formal invitation to attend the talks in Astana by the Russian & Turkish organisers, but would only be represented by the country’s ambassador to Kazakhstan, the State Dept said on Saturday. A State Dept release said:
Pindostan is committed to a political resolution to the Syrian crisis through a Syrian-owned process, which can bring about a more representative, peaceful, and united Syria. Given our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Faschingstein will not be attending the Astana conference.
Trump’s exact policy position on Syria is unclear. Previously, Pindostan has backed a broad coalition of Sunni rebels fighting against the Syrian regime, and maintained that Assad must be removed from power. On the campaign trail, Trump said that as president he would like to focus on wiping out Jihadi terror organisations such as Daesh, indicating that he could be willing to work with the Assad government to achieve their shared objective. Trump has previously stated that while he “did not like (Assad) at all,” shoring up Assad’s
regime government is the best way to stem the extremism that (supposedly) threatens Pindostan. He has also been emphatic about mending ties with Russia. He said in December:
Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful because of us, aligned with Syria … Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who those people are. … We end up fighting Russia.
Trump’s election has been welcomed by Moscow, Tehran and Damascus. The Kremlin has expressed hope that he will be more cooperative on initiatives to end the Syrian war than his predecessor. Putin spox Dmitri Peskov told the BBC on Sunday:
It is obvious that without Pindostan it is impossible to resolve the Syrian issue.
Russia and Turkey purposefully excluded Jackass Kerry from negotiations on Syria in Dec 2016.
Pindo envoy to Kazakhstan to attend Syria talks in Astana
Reuters, Jan 21 2017
The Pindo State Dept said on Saturday it will not send a delegation to attend talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital Astana next week due to the immediate demands of the transition of power in Faschingstein. The State Dept’s acting spox Toner said that Pindostan would be represented at the talks by Pindo Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol. Toner said in a statement:
Given our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Faschingstein will not be attending the Astana conference.