But there was a significant turning point this week when UN envoy Staffan de Mistura made major progress in the creation of a council charged with writing a new constitution for Syria. The foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia
Although past experience has shown the difficulty of pleasing all parties to the conflict, these recent efforts are a milestone and a big reason for hope, particularly when considering how many Syrians have been killed and displaced. Moreover, it is a very important sign that everyone wants a political solution. In 2019, it seems we will see further close cooperation between Ankara, Tehran
This week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani paid an official visit to Ankara upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart. Rouhani, who attended the fifth session of the Turkey-Iran Cooperation Council, hailed close bilateral ties. “We will discuss means of enhancing ties and overcoming the obstacles to achieving that goal,” he said. “Turkey is extremely important to Iran.”
Among all the efforts to end the conflict in Syria, the Astana process has been the most concrete. Credit should be given to Ankara, Tehran
Closer cooperation between Turkey, Iran
For the past four years, Ankara and Washington were at odds due to the latter’s support for the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the fight against Daesh. Though US-Turkish relations might improve after Washington’s decision to withdraw, its alliance with the Kurds led to lost Turkish trust.
“The US presence in Syria went beyond its purpose and became another theater for proxy games in the region,” said Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin. One could not agree more. We are entering 2019 with the emergence of a new order in Syria that will shape the entire region.