Consultations on Syrian conflict resume in Kazakh capital after 6-month break

Astana, Jan 24 (EFE).- Consultations on compliance with the ceasefire in Syria resumed Wednesday behind closed doors in Kazakhstan after a six-month break.

The negotiations, requested by the guarantors of the truce – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – are taking place in a hotel in the Kazakh capital, Astana,

“In the context of escalating conflicts in the Middle East, these negotiations are aimed at preventing Syria from being dragged into a regional conflict,” Alexandr Lavrentiev, head of the Russian delegation, told reporters before the start of the talks.

According to Lavrentiev, since the last meeting of the Astana format, which also involves the opposition and the Syrian government, “a lot of questions have accumulated.”

“The importance of holding negotiations on Syria is increasing and there is a great demand for deep and bilateral negotiations not only among the participating countries but also among all those involved in the format,” he added.

Delegations from Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government, and the Syrian opposition arrived in Astana before the event, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Representatives of Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon are also participating in the meeting as observers.

The UN is represented at the consultations by the deputy special envoy for Syria, Moroccan Najat Rochdi.

In June last year, after the 20th meeting of the Astana format, created to facilitate negotiations between the opposition and Damascus, Kazakhstan announced that it would be the last round of consultations in its capital.

“Syria’s gradual emergence from its isolation can be considered as a sign that the Astana process honorably fulfilled its task,” Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Kanat Tumysh said on the occasion. EFE


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