US Declines to Send a Delegation to Syria Peace Talks

US Declines to Send a Delegation to Syria Peace Talks | US ambassador will attend Astana talks, however

According to the US State Department, the Trump Administration will not be sending a formal delegation to participate in the Syrian peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. Officials say they could not do so because of the “immediate demands of the transition” since Trump’s Friday inauguration.

The Obama Administration was pointedly not invited to the talks, organized by Turkey and Russia, and instead of extending an invitation to the US government in general, they made it clear the invitation was for the Trump Administration in particular, seen as a last minute diplomatic slight to Obama.

The US will not be totally absent from the talks, however, as US Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol, who was already in Astana anyway, will be attending the talks as the representative of the United States. The absence of a real delegation however, likely will limit US participation in the talks greatly.

President Trump is expected to significantly change US policy in Syria, with reports that he will scrap a long-standing program of arms smuggling by the CIA to rebel factions and instead focus exclusively on fighting ISIS. As ISIS is not a participant in the Astana talks, or really expected to be a serious topic of discussion, the administration’s absence may also reflect comparative disinterest about what the rebels and the Syrian government decide in the talks.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Bianca

    It really is of no consequence, in fact it is wiser to let the warring parties get together face to face. Hillary Clinton founded the High Negotiation Council in Saudi Arabia, but their presence has been sidelined by the insistence of Turkey, Russia and Iran that only people on the ground have a say in negotiating. The largest Islamist group, Jaish Al-Islam, met with Syrian Government representative. The kry is to find a way to return the converts to the salafi cults back to civilian life. If they cannot expect more help from outside the country — they need to get the best terms they can.

    • Don

      Most likely it’s being played out behind the scenes for now. The US has made a joint attack in Syria with Russian bombers. The US denies that it’s true but the benefit of the doubt will go to Russia due to it’s track record of truthful reporting on Syria.

      Cooperation behind the scenes by the US can mean nothing but the US needing to get into the game officially in order to try to lay claim to some of the spoils of war. Too little too late most likely because Russia now owns Syria, along with and in cooperation with Assad.

  • BooBooBaby

    Interesting! Very interesting!