MESOP “PUTIN” : WE CAN TALK – AS LONG AS WE BOMB ! – Russia to Talk with US…and Continue Killing Civilians in Aleppo

October 13 – by Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Russia and the US will renew their talks over Syria’s crisis, despite Moscow’s continued bombing of Aleppo that has killed hundreds of civilians and been described as complicity in the “war crimes” of the Assad regime. Even as Russia was breaking the news of discussions in Lausanne, Switzerland on Switzerland, civil defense volunteers and residents were confirming the killing of at least 86 more people in opposition areas in and near Syria’s largest city. The Local Coordination Committees said 22 children and 19 women were among 129 deaths documented across the country on Wednesday.

The White Helmets said at least 45 others were injured as Russian and regime warplanes pounded al-Firdous, al-Qaterji, and Bustan al-Qasr. The districts are adjacent to areas of north Aleppo where pro-Assad forces are trying to advance, further constricting rebels and about 275,000 civilians in the opposition neighborhoods.The US had said last week that it was breaking off discussions with Moscow over the political process, in protest at the Russian-regime bombing that destroyed a UN aid convoy and left more than 500 people dead in two weeks.

Confusion over Nature of Talks

The revelation of the Lausanne talks was shrouded in confusion, as Russia rushed into an announcement to seize the political initiative. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tried to define the process in an interview with CNN, saying that the meeting should include Turkey, Saudi Arabia and possibly Qatar: “We would like to have a meeting in this narrow format, to have a businesslike discussion, not another General Assembly-like debate.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry then said that Iran — along with Russia, the major backer of the Assad regime — would also be present.The State Department, finally issuing its own comments through spokesman John Kirby hours later, portrayed the gathering differently.The US tried to emphasize that it was not meeting Russia one-on-one, but renewing contacts through a multilateral approach, inviting members of the International Syria Support Group.

Kirby said Moscow had accepted the invitation, but would not reveal who else would be in Lausanne.

The spokesman said the meeting would seek a new ceasefire and access to humanitarian aid for all areas in Syria.White House spokesman Josh Earnest tried to distinguish between a “deep multilateral engagement” which will “necessarily” involve Russia and the suspension of bilateral US-Russian contacts:

It is no longer in the context of trying to broker this agreement that would…hold out the prospect of U.S. military cooperation with Russia. That’s something that Russia has lost…the credibility to be able to try to agree to. However, Iranian officials then added a further complication by saying that Tehran would not attend on Saturday. Iran’s Supreme Leader has said that Tehran will not be involved in negotiations with the US outside implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal.