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Is COVID-19 changing Astana allies' dynamics in Syria?

The coronavirus outbreak in Syria may give Russia an opportunity to limit the Iranian presence.
A picture taken on April 26, 2019 shows a general view of the hall where the Syrian constitutional committee takes place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. - Two-day talks on Syria backed by Iran, Russia and Turkey concluded in Kazakhstan on April 26, 2019 without notable progress on forming a constitutional committee to drive a political settlement in the war-wracked country. (Photo by Alexey FILIPPOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALEXEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images)
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As Syria is being hit by the coronavirus, key actors in the Syrian conflict seem to be taking advantage of it not only to regroup forces under their control but also to change the configuration of areas under their control.

On March 27, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had a phone conversation with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, who is also deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates' armed forces. Among other things, the two discussed efforts to jointly fight the coronavirus.

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