Just four days ago, Putin and Obama met at the G20 conference, and were unable to reach an agreement on a Syrian cease-fire. You can read my blog post about it here, which also provides some background on the Syrian conflict. But after they both walked away after a ninety minute conversation about a cease-fire, promising that they would continue negotiations, I assumed that the talks would continue in limbo for a little while, given that what Putin and Obama had been saying seemed to indicate they still had significant differences in how they wanted the cease-fire to work.
So what is actually in the agreement?
- It requires humanitarian aid access to all cities: including Aleppo, the besieged city that Gary Johnson recently received flack for forgetting about.
- The US and Russia are establishing a ‘joint implementation center’ in order to coordinate fighting with ISIS and al-Nusra fighters. The center will also allow for the US to be more involved in Russia’s air strikes, so that they might stop bombing all the US-backed Syrian fighters.
- The areas that the strikes will be taking place in were also agreed upon, according to Russian minister Sergei Lavrov, although the US and Russia have not yet disclosed where they will be striking.
The US and Russia have been pretty frustrated with each other recently, with the invasion of Ukraine, the alleged hacking of the DNC’s emails by the Russians, and of course the disagreements in Syria, but perhaps this temporary alliance will let tensions cool a little bit.
Eh, we’ll see.