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Analyst warns attempts at hampering Russia, Iran and Turkey's work on Syria are likely

December 29, 2016, 18:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The process of Syrian settlement is not going to iron out fundamental disagreements between the states, analyst says

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Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at Syria settlement talks

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at Syria settlement talks

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Both internal radicals and foreign actors are likely to make attempts at upsetting cooperation by Russia, Iran and Turkey over Syria, the science doyen of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Oriental Studies Institute, Vitaly Naumkin, told TASS when asked about the viability of trilateral cooperation by Russia, Iran and Turkey aimed at settling the Syrian crisis.

"There will certainly follow attempts at upsetting cooperation by the three countries on the part of various sorts of radical groups and, still more so, on the part of foreign players in the region," said Naumkin, who is also a senior political adviser to the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura.

"For now such an important country as Saudi Arabia is out of this process. That country controls a small share of armed groups and furnishes material assistance to combat operations in Syria."

"Should radical groups of militants end combat operations, they will most certainly lose financial support. These people live on the money they make on war, for fighting against the Bashar Assad government," Naumkin said.

"War in that country and in that region has become a business. The armed groups fight for money, not for ideals. Although Turkey has done a great deal to separate terrorist groups and the armed opposition, there still is no clarity as to what joint struggle against the Islamic State and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham [formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, both organizations are outlawed in Russia] will look like. Russia and Turkey have agreed on that struggle while the full separation in the field has not occurred yet.

"The agreements that rest upon the common interests of Russia, Iran and Turkey, as well as on the ability of these actors to safeguard their interests in combination with concessions that will not entail any risks for these interests … I believe that this process has certain chances to succeed," Naumkin said.

"Neither party will sacrifice its interests. The process of Syrian settlement will not iron out the fundamental disagreements that divide Turkey and Iran and the contradictions that exist between Russia and Turkey. As we clinch deals and develop our constructive cooperation with Turkey, we do not either abandon our interests of curtail the criticism of certain actions by Turkey. They’ve been put aside for a while for the sake of common interests."

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