A fourth round of talks aimed at resolving the conflict in Syria was held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on May 4. Unlike previous meetings, Russia was pushing for major progress by raising the idea of a “safe zone”. And with the recent warming of Russia-Turkey ties, the proposal was pleasantly accepted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Putin phoned US President Donald Trump on Tuesday to discuss the plan and other ways to boost the ceasefire in Syria and said the American administration supported these ideas. Is this Russian proposal the catalyst to end the Syrian Civil war? We turn to our panel: He Wenping, professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian defense analyst; and Theodore Kattouf, a former ambassador to Syria.

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