Russia is cautiously optimistic about newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans to create safe zones in Syria to prevent migration that is spreading terrorism. It seems lawmakers are supportive but want to be sure Russian experience in the region, and Russian interests, are taken into account with this plan.
“We can only welcome the initiatives aimed at enhancing the security of Syria’s civilian population,” said Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) International Affairs Committee. “However, if any initiatives on that score are put forward unilaterally and are not agreed on with other countries involved in the efforts to resolve the issue, this would raise some doubts. If Mr. Trump is willing to discuss this idea with those who are really working in Syria, that is, Russia, Turkey and Iran, not only with former US allies of the so-called anti-terrorism coalition hastily forged by Barack Obama, I do not rule out the emergence of some viable agreements,” reported Izvestia.
For his part, Franz Klintsevich, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Defense Committee, noted that the US president raised “the right issue,” but in order to implement the initiative, it is necessary to maintain dialogue with Damascus. “We would like all issues concerning Syria to be discussed with the legitimate authorities taking into account all parties’ interests,” he said. “Now, we need to speak about cooperation in resolving the situation in Syria. The issue raised by Donald Trump is the right one, but it should be implemented properly taking into consideration the Syrian people’s opinion and not unilaterally. Only then will it be possible to achieve positive results.”
Former U.S. President Obama talked about setting up such zones but never took any action. The White House and the Kremlin acknowledged that the Syrian issue was brought up during the recent phone call between the two leaders.