Top Russian General Offers U.S. To Cooperate on Rebuilding Syria, Repatriating Refugees

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Major international media have reported that Russia’s Armed Forces’ Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov has contacted his US counterpart Joseph Dunford with a proposal.

According to reports citing a US government memo, the Russian military has supposedly offered the US military to cooperate in rebuilding the devastated Syrian nation.

If the memo and reports are true, then Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, contacted United States General Joseph Dunford, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on July 19, offering Russian cooperation in the reconstruction of Syria and in the repatriation of refugees to the Arab country.

General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation

This is the first time such a proposal has been reported, but details have not yet been released.

“The proposal argues that the Syrian regime lacks the equipment, fuel, other materials and funds needed to rebuild the country to accept refugee returns,” the memo reads.

“The United States will only support returning refugees when the situation is safe, return is voluntary and dignified,” the memo also contains, stipulating that the US would only cooperate in the event of the end of the Syrian war and once Syrian elections are held and supervised by the UN.

General Dunford’s office, however, declined to comment on communications with his Russian counterpart.

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“In accordance with past practice, both Generals have agreed to keep the details of their conversations private,” the American general’s spokeswoman told reporters.

General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Russian Ministry of Defense has declined to comment on the memorandum.

The US and Russian armed forces have maintained a private communications channel to prevent unwanted military collisions in Syria. However, this latest report shows that the channel might also be used to discuss issues that are not strictly military in nature.

Interestingly enough, the alleged memo emphasizes: “Russian diplomats and other officials have also been engaging in an aggressive campaign to describe the initiative in other capitals and to insinuate that it is an outcome of the U.S.-Russia meeting in Helsinki, which it is not, repeat not.”

This rather strange commentary seems to suggest that US-Russia cooperation in Syria should not be seen as the result of diplomacy between the two countries’ leaders, especially their historic Helsinki summit, which instantly casts a familiar partisan shade over this alleged memorandum.

Indeed, since the US-Russia summit in Finland, Trump has been relentlessly attacked by his opponents who allege that the US President should have de-legitimized his own authority by pressing Putin on alleged Russian interference in the US elections. The Democrats are also frustrated that they do not know what the two presidents discussed in particular behind closed doors.

The Democrats, deep state, and much of the US establishment as a whole have routinely discouraged and, in the phrasing of some, “criminalized” diplomacy in their attempts to undermine Trump’s reform of the declining Atlanticist project. FRN has repeatedly suggested that “Russiagate” news be treated in this context. 

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