Donald Trump’s informal meetings with Vladimir Putinon the sidelines of the recent APEC summit in Vietnam produced a single concrete result: the Nov. 11 U.S.-RussiaJoint Statement on Syria.
The bilateral diplomatic effort has elicited optimism from officials, but what does it amount to really? Does it represent a promising step forward to “save tremendous numbers of lives,” as Trump told reporters on Air Force One?
Does the statement provide a workable roadmap for effective American-Russian collaboration and coordination? Is it — as Putin’s spokesmancharacterized it — so clear in its language that it “does not require comments” and is not open to multiple interpretations?
Is this latest statement — another in a long list that have been hailed as groundbreaking efforts to end the fighting in Syria — really going to make a difference this time around?