Not One, But Two Syria Talks Scheduled For The Weekend

World and regional leaders will take another go at diplomacy and peace talks after a number of setbacks on the subject of war-torn Syria. Over the weekend, talks will be held in Europe, in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Last week, it seemed that Washington and Moscow had officially cut off contact on the issue after a truce deal fell apart. On Wednesday, however, both announced there will be two days of talks on the matter – in Lausanne on Saturday and in London on Sunday.

These meetings have been set following some of the most violent days the Syrian city of Aleppo has seen, as the government forces that were backed by Russian airstrikes, continued an ongoing and inhumane assault on the rebel-held portion of the city in the East. The news of talks comes a day after Russia was accused of increasing its raids on the city. Even thought the conversation about a ceasefire seems back on the table, there were still a number of air strikes in Aleppo on Wednesday which left an additional seven people dead.

The talks that are to occur in the Swiss city will involve U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who will also be joined by the powers of Turkey and the Gulf countries.

Lavrov named all backers of Syrian opposition forces to be Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, while an invitation to Iran was not confirmed by either side, even though the nation remains a main player in the conflict and is also an ally to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Kerry will then meet up with his European counterparts in London, Britain, France, and Germany. The Associated French Press shares what the focus will likely be for both meetings.

“Both meetings will focus on ‘a multilateral approach to resolving the crisis in Syria, including a sustained cessation of violence and the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries,’ the State Department said Wednesday.”

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President “expressed the hope that the meeting set for October 15 in Lausanne… will be productive and contribute in a concrete way to a resolution,” the Kremlin relayed. French President Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, all put pressure on Putin to agree to a ceasefire and push for this with his counterparts, despite a number of setbacks in recent weeks.

Lavrov shared on Wednesday that he hopes the talks over the weekend in Switzerland could assist in launching a “serious dialogue” about a US-Russian past.

“We would like to have a meeting in this narrow format, to have a businesslike discussion, not another General Assembly-like debate.”

Ahead of the talks, hopes remain low that there will be a breakthrough to bring the five-year conflict to an end, one which has claimed approximately 300,000 lives. The United Nations shared that Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura had been invited to the talks but it is still unclear as to whether he will attend or not.

Nations of the West have called for punitive measures against Moscow after the bombing campaign launched by Russia in Aleppo, which has been noted as potential war crimes. Russia has continued the assault in response to West.

Putin also warned those nations on Wednesday, indicating that Russia would not “let itself be isolated,” as the publication notes. In an investment forum in Moscow, the Russian president spoke on the matter of the West imposing sanctions against Russia and Syria.

“We should not go down the path of pressure and blackmail but search for compromise.I have said one hundred times that we are ready to search for these compromises. We would very much like that our partners treat us this way.”

[Featured Image by Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images]