May 23, 2018

Astana 9 Meeting Announces Steps to Activate Syria Political Process

16 May 2018, 05:12 | Taylor George

US will not take part in Astana talks on Syria — diplomat

Ninth Round Of Syria Peace Talks Under Way In Astana

The joint statement today, posted on Russia's Foreign Ministry website, says that Russia, Iran and Turkey, acting as guarantors of the settlement process, reaffirmed "their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria". At the Ankara summit, the leaders of the three guarantor states reached an agreement to hold the next summit in Tehran.

It is essential to implement agreements on deescalation zones in Syria because they are a main factor in maintaining the ceasefire and reducing violence in the country, said the statement.

The Russian resort city hosted the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in January, with 1,500 people representing the Syrian government and foreign-backed opposition in attendance.

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The statement affirmed the continuation of combating terrorism in Syria until completely eliminating ISIL, Nusra Front and all other terrorist organizations affiliated to al-Qaeda or ISIL. The meeting was held at the expert level by delegations from the three countries, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross on the sidelines of Astana Talks. However, they failed to achieve progress in the detainees' file.

At the end of Wednesday's talks, Alexander Lavrentiev, who is Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Syrian affairs, said the presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey are likely to meet in late August or early September.

The Turkish delegation is expected to hold a meeting later on Monday with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura regarding the establishment of a constitution committee.

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