Sunday, 22 July, 2018

U.S. will not take part in Astana talks on Syria - diplomat

Astana talks on Syria enter second day U.S. will not take part in Astana talks on Syria - diplomat
Melinda Barton | 16 May, 2018, 17:15

During the Monday meeting, the participants explored the draft statement of the Ninth Round of Astana Talks on Syria Crisis.

The Guarantor States stressed the importance of implementing the De-Escalation Zones Agreement in Syria, which played a pivotal role in maintaining the cessation of hostilities, describing the Agreement as a temporary measure that can not violate the sovereignty, independence 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.

The final statement underlined the "key role" the four safe zones are playing in preserving the ceasefire regime, saying their demarcations, which were outlined in Astana last May, need to be respected. The next Astana format meeting will be held in Sochi, Russia in July 2018.

They also reaffirmed their resolve to keep fighting the Takfiri terror groups operating in Syria, especially Daesh and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants.

"Representatives of the Syrian armed opposition have arrived in Astana early this morning", he said.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is expected to attend the meeting in the afternoon; Jordan would be observing the talks. However, they failed to achieve progress in the detainees' file.

Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry earlier reported that, in addition to Russia, Iran and Turkey acting as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire, the delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition, United Nations representatives and observers from the USA and Jordan had been invited to the meeting.