Conflicts & War

Kazakhstan to host new round of Syrian talks next week

Nur-Sultan, June 9 (EFE).- The 18th meeting of representatives from the three guarantor nations monitoring the ceasefire in Syria – Russia, Turkey and Iran – is to be held June 15-16 in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan, the Central Asian country’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The plenary session on June 16 is to be held within the framework of the so-called Astana Process, to which representatives of the Government and the opposition of the Arab country have been invited, as well as UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.

Kazakhstan is awaiting confirmation of their participation, diplomatic sources told Efe.

The new round will be held at a time when Turkey is preparing for a new large-scale intervention in northern Syria, where fighting between the Turkish Army and the Kurdish militias of the YPG (People’s Defense Units) has intensified.

Although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated that the general goal is to control a strip along the entire Turkish-Syrian border to avoid attacks, he later specified that the objective of the next intervention would be two areas to the north and northeast of Aleppo, Manbech and Tel Rifaat.

The government of Syrian President Bachar al-Assad warned that Turkey’s plans are a threat to peace and undermine all previous agreements that had allowed the implementation of de-escalation and security zones in northeastern Syria through agreements in 2018 and 2019 between Russia and Turkey in Sochi.

Russia is al-Assad’s main ally, while Turkey supports armed factions seeking to overthrow him.

The meeting in Nur-Sultan takes place some six months after the last round in the Kazakh capital, where Russia, Turkey and Iran pledged to continue efforts to revive the Syrian peace process, and reiterated the importance of the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.

Pedersen admitted last week following the Committee’s eighth round of negotiations that the dialogue was going at a “very slow pace” after three years of work.

The Committee, made up of representatives of the Syrian regime, the opposition and civil society negotiating since 2019 the draft of a new Constitution, is to hold its ninth session in Geneva July 25-29. EFE


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