Syrian Deal: ‘Russia Has Nothing to Conceal’, US Keeps ‘Sensitive’ Details Quiet

 

Syrian children ride an attraction in the Syrian rebel-held town of Arbin, in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, as they celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on September 13, 2016 

 

    24 hours into the Syrian ceasefire agreement, the US media was brimming with questions about the country’s future as the key details of the deal were not made public; and while Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested revealing the key points as “Russia has nothing to conceal”, it is the US who refused to reveal “sensitive” issues.

   As the 48-hour Syria ceasefire agreement came into force on Monday, the US media was flooded with the questions about the Syrian future, as the details of the deal were not made public. “

   The agreements, five separate documents, won’t be published, ostensibly to prevent Islamist groups from disrupting the humanitarian effort that should follow the deal,” Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky wrote in his article for the website in the follow up to the joint press conference by Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry.

   “That in itself is a good sign: It means the sides are really going to try to implement it rather than argue publicly about who’s to blame for renewed violence. But it also means only the general outlines of the deal are available,” he further mentioned.

   The lack of the details prompted another US-based news outlet, The National Interest, to compile a list of five questions it seems to be interested in the most.

   The magazine seems to be very eager to know what will happen if the Syrian President Assad does not adhere to the condition to ground his aircraft in areas designated in the agreement. Who will monitor the withdrawal from the Castello Road so that the humanitarian convoy is able to get through.

   ‘How will the joint Russia-US operations proceed once the ceasefire holds for the set period of seven days. Will the so-called “moderate” opposition be separated from the terrorists as stated in the agreement and how it will be done.

   Finally, once the violence comes down, what will be next? This particular question is echoed by Bloomberg, whose columnist also notes that “the biggest problem, however, is that there is no inkling of how political issues will be addressed after a putative US-Russian victory over al-Nusra [Front] and Islamic State (Daesh).”

   “Unless the two big players agree on a joint solution to push for, there will be too much uncertainty for local players and too many reasons to keep fighting,” he notes.

   Meanwhile, the US-based news website Vox has identified “three things to watch for in coming days” which will indicate that the ceasefire is “actually furthering” the rest of the agreement: “what counts as a violation of the ceasefire, whether Turkey decides to keep fighting, and whether US-backed Syrian rebels really do decisively part ways with their jihadist partners.”

   It is however interesting to note that on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged the United States to make the diplomatic deal transparent, saying it should be released so the public can assess any alleged violations of the ceasefire. CSPAN (Screenshot)US Believes Aspects of Syria Ceasefire Too Sensitive to Share Publicly

   “In order to brush away any doubts on how we will fulfill our commitments in the way in which they were stipulated in the agreement, we suggested revealing these agreements and not keeping them secret, as our American partners wanted,” the Russian media quotes Russia’s top diplomat as saying.

   “We have nothing to conceal, everything that is stipulated in the agreement has been agreed upon,” he added.

   The minister said that Russia will work for a full release of this document and will suggest to approve it without any amendments by the resolution of the UN Security Council.

   Washington however believes that aspects of the Syrian ceasefire deal brokered with Russia “are too sensitive to release to the public”, US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner said at a briefing on Tuesday.

“[T]here are some operational details, areas of sensitivity, we do not believe would be in the interest of the agreement, or in anyone’s interest, to share,” Toner stated.

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