Russia Confirms It Sent Syrian Refugee Proposal to US

Lester Mason
August 7, 2018

The Russian proposal stated that the Syrian regime is not enough equipment, fuel and other resources to restore the country to accept the return of refugees. It also stipulates that the U.S. would only cooperate in the event that Syria's seven-year civil war could be brought to a resolution, and UN-supervised elections, among other terms, could be guaranteed in the country.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the memo is attributed to the "government", the office of General Dunford nevertheless declined to comment on communications with his Russian counterpart. "Sofia appears interested in the Syrian refugees' return to Syria on an exclusively voluntary basis", Nikolai Burtsev said.

Still, Robert Ford, US ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014, called the American position in Syria "strategically foolish and operationally dangerous" earlier this year.

The former ambassador said that some foreign policy hawks think the troops give Washington leverage to pressure Assad to make concessions in a future political settlement.

Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin discussed Syria and the issue of refugees at a 16 July summit in Helsinki. A USA memo with an icy response to the Russian proposal recently leaked to the media.

At a news conference after the Trump-Putin meeting last month, the USA president focused on Israel when the Syria question was raised. Democrats were also frustrated by not knowing what the two presidents discussed in private, and some Democrats even considered subpoenaing Trump's interpreter to testify before Congress - the idea that was later dismissed, as critics pointed out it would have harmed the diplomatic efforts of United States presidents in the future.

"A UNHCR team is communicating with Syrians in Lebanon and we have a team in Syria", Lisa Abou Khaled told Anadolu Agency. "Let me remind you that both Russian and American military have acquired a useful experience of coordination of their action, established the operational channels of communication which permitted (us) to avoid unsafe incidents and unintentional collisions in the air and on the ground", Putin said. Gerasimov's letter suggests that channel is also being used by Moscow to broach non-military matters.

In the letter, Gerasimov said Moscow was ready to "work with the Syrian authorities to provide security guarantees to refugees in the Rukban camp in the US-controlled Al-Tanf area and to create conditions for their return to their homes".

Besides, Syrian refugees were on the table of talks with Slovenia.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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