Astana Talks Pave Way For Peaceful Solution

Initial steps toward a ceasefire are underway in Astana. Iranian, Turkish and Russian officials met last Monday to discuss a peaceful solution to the six-year conflict.

Official United Nations peace discussions are taking place later this month, but the Kazakh capital played host this week to neighbouring nations feeling the direct effects of this war. With truce agreements in mind, the talks were an attempt to fortify statutes agreed upon this past December.

The conflict in Syria has proven to be anything but a simple issue, as it continues to plague the Middle-East, leaving nations at odds with each other. As countries continue to try and find a solution to this crisis, the very answer to who should be involved and who shouldn’t is still up for debate.

While certain parties believe nations such as Iran and the United States should be left out of it, others feel their role is an integral one. At the end of the day however, the state that this ongoing war has left Syria and it’s connecting counterparts in is unavoidable.

According to a recent report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the year 2015 saw over 65 million people globally displaced due to conflict, persecution and human rights violations. To put that into perspective, imagine picking up the 21st biggest country in the world and dropping it else where on a map.

The report identifies the Syrian Arab Republic as responsible for almost five million refugees, making it one of the top contributors to the international issue. In a separate report, the UNHCR ranks the Syrian conflict as ‘the world’s leading cause of displacement and associated suffering’.

Even though the prospect of solving this issue has been painted as bleak, Filippo Grandi of the UNHCR points out how our cooperation is imperative to its success.

“The willingness of nations to work together not just for refugees but for the collective human interest is what’s being tested today, and it’s this spirit of unity that badly needs to prevail.”

In Grandi’s words, this ‘spirit of unity’ was objectively embodied last Monday in Astana.

While the Astana talks do not represent the United Nations official involvement in these peace discussions, it is viewed as a step in the right direction in the attempt to end conflict and return the internationally displaced home. Official talks are to continue later this month.

Wyatt Lang