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The Syrian Peace Talks Were a Waste of Time

The main reason for the collapse of U.S.–Russia peace talks over Syria is that Washington and Moscow have fundamentally different interests in that country. Vladimir Putin wants above all to preserve Syria as a politico-military foothold—Russia’s only such foothold outside the former Soviet Union. He could do so without keeping Bashar al-Assad in power as Syria’s president—Russian diplomats have decried Assad as a nuisance—except that there is no trustworthy successor in the wings.
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