Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Lakhdar Brahimi will be laying the Syria crisis on the table in Geneva tomorrow in a diplomatic effort to reach an end to the internal strife which has been ongoing for two years now.
Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu set off for Russia prior to Friday's meeting. After holding a series of meetings in Moscow, Sinirlioğlu will move on to Washington, where he will be from January 14th to the 16th, in an attempt to persuade both sides to adhere to the swiftest transition formula for Syria.
TRANSITION FORMULAS ARE ON THE TABLE
During this trip, Sinirlioğlu will be addressing the transition formulas discussed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Turkey, which were later further developed by the two nations' foreign ministers. According to the information obtained by SABAH, Sinirlioğlu has not brought along a letter or any message to Moscow, however he will be reiterating that Assad will not be able to obstruct the transition process in Syria.
Just following his meeting with Sinirlioğlu, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov will be heading for Geneva to meet with his U.S. counterpart William Burns and UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on January 11th for a tripartite meeting on Syria.
After the summit, Sinirlioğlu is scheduled to meet with Burns in Washington. Turkish sources state that although Sinirlioğlu will not be going to Geneva, he will be continuing to hold deliberations with all sides. Meanwhile, during a meeting with Brahimi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that they would support continued efforts to establish a solution under the Geneva Plan within the framework of Assad's recent proposals.
TURKS HELD CAPTIVE RELEASED IN EXCHANGE
Under Turkey and Qatar's mediation, yesterday Syrian opposition groups freed 48 Iranian captives in exchange for the release of 2,130 civilians held prisoner by the Assad regime. The prisoners, which included four Turks and 76 women, boarded buses that departed from the Interior Ministry building in Damascus and were reunited with their families in the early morning hours. Out of the four Turks released, two were Syrian-born, one of which is Bayram Demir and the other, Emel Ramadan. The prisoners released have thanked Turkey and Qatar for their efforts in facilitating the exchange.
This is a translation of an article originally written by Duygu Guvenc and Hasan Ay.