Messages of Bashar Assad’s Visit to Moscow

26 October 2015 | 15:22 Code : 1953265 From Other Media General category’s interview with Masood Asadollahi, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs
Messages of Bashar Assad’s Visit to Moscow

-There is no doubt that Bashar Assad’s visit to Moscow after four years and under the present conditions is highly significant. This visit is indicative of a few issues. The first issue is that this visit represents the situation of the government in Syria which is stabilized and is not threatened to be toppled.

-If such a threat existed, neither would Russian officials have invited him nor would he have felt comfortable leaving the country under such critical conditions.

-The fact that this invitation was extended by Russia shows that firstly the Russians believe in the power of the Syrian regime to survive and in the fight against the terrorist Takfiri groups. On the other hand, it shows the seriousness of the Russians who are now deeply involved in the Syrian crisis and seek military confrontation with the terrorist Takfiri groups and at the same time pursue a political solution to this crisis.

-Secondly, before Russia’s military intervention in Syria, the conditions did not allow Bashar Assad to leave this country due to security reasons because Syria’s neighboring countries were all allies of the US and the reactionary Arab states and there was the possibility of downing Assad’s plane or forcing it to land.

-It is now clear that this flight was guarded by Russia’s military planes so that nobody could threaten it. This issue further indicates the seriousness of the Russian government in supporting the government in Syria.

-This visit has both symbolic and real aspects. Its symbolic aspect is related to the stability of the Syrian government and that Russia believes that the negotiating party and the solution to this crisis is the regime in Syria.

-Until a few weeks ago, the condition set by the US and its Arab allies for any political solution was the immediate resignation of Assad from power. But after the recent developments, the positions of the US, France, Britain and even Turkey have changed and they state that the role played by Assad during the transition period could be accepted until elections are held.

-It also shows that the viewpoint of Iran and Russia stating that the main negotiating party should be the government of Syria and Bashar Assad is spreading.

-Since years ago, Russia has pursued a political solution for the crisis in Syria. Now the Russians are present in Syria under the name of fighting against Takfiri terrorism. Nonetheless, even if the Russians gain military control over these terrorists, the crisis in Syria only has a political solution and certainly a political solution at this level would need a meeting between Putin and Assad.

-In the past, there have been meetings between representatives of both countries but an issue with such importance needed high level meetings between Putin and Assad.

-During recent weeks, Russia has succeeded in its military actions and dealt effective blows to the terrorist groups.

-Thus, this military success along with the political developments gives meaning to the whole process. Certainly, the meeting between Putin and Assad has destructive impacts on the spirit of the armed opposition groups and weakens the position of Qatar and Saudi Arabia which still insist upon the resignation of Bashar Assad.

-But the final solution will not be achieved by one meeting and this is the first step on a long path. If an agreement about a political plan is reached, it will be a big development in the Syrian crisis. But if only a military agreement is reached, its effects will be limited.