Last Update 18:17
Sunday, 23 July 2017

Egypt's Shokry, Putin envoy agree on 'activating political solution in Syria'

Aswat Masriya , Saturday 17 Oct 2015
Shokry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry (R) and special envoy to the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov in talks in Cairo on Oct 17, 2015. Handout from Egypt's Foreign Ministry (Photo: Aswat Masriya)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1251
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1251

Egypt's foreign minister and the special envoy of the Russian president held "extensive" talks on Saturday reflecting the "compatibility" of their visions on the Syrian crisis.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry and Mikhail Bogdanov, the special representative of the Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Middle East and Africa discussed the importance of solving the Syrian issue from its roots by "activating the political solution" as stipulated in the Geneva II Conference, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

They also talked about the importance of confronting terrorist organisations, which is an "important step" towards the political solution.

Last month, Russia launched airstrikes on targets in Syria using the Syrian airfield Hmeymim.

Bogdanov told Shokry that his country is targeting "groups belonging to terrorist organisations," denying that Russia is targeting "the Syrian opposition with its moderate components that are far from extremism."

Shokry expressed his hopes that this would be conducive to a political solution and would end the current stalemate.

While the Russian move is vocally opposed by major Western and regional powers like the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Egyptian state, a US ally, said it supports the move.

Egypt said the Russian strikes are "consistent" with the efforts of the US-led coalition to fight Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.

The US is leading a 65-country coalition to strike Islamic State Fighters and doubts the Russian claim that it is targeting Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

Instead, the US and other countries opposing the Russian strikes believe that Russia does not distinguish between Islamic State fighters and other groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech in Indiana University that "the point we have made to the Russians, however, is that it would be totally self-defeating to the point of farce to try at the same time to prop up Bashar al-Assad and his murderous regime, which seems to be precisely what Moscow wants to do."

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, following the failure of popular protests calling for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. In the midst of the fight between Syrian opposition groups and the president, Islamic State fighters emerged and took over various parts of Iraq and Syria, complicating the situation.

Kerry added in his speech that "in Syria, we see a chance to increase pressure on Daesh [Islamic State fighters] from more than one direction, especially if Russia makes good on its commitment, repeated many times, to help."

Russia has been supporting the Assad regime since the Syrian civil war began, while the US along with Saudi Arabia, have backed the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Cairo-Moscow ties are stronger than they have been in years. In 2014 and 2015, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Moscow four times, most recently last August, when the two countries announced cooperation in building Egypt's first nuclear power plant. 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.