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  • » 10/31/2017, 09.44

    SYRIA - KAZAKHSTAN

    Seventh round of Astana talks: Syrian conflict, military and humanitarian issues



    The two days of closed doors meetings began yesterday. With Raqqa taken from Isis, now the priority is reserved for the path of reconciliation and the peace process. The Syrian crisis can only be resolved "through a political process". On Nov. 28 new round of UN negotiations in Geneva.

    Astana (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Military issues, technical issues and humanitarian crises still underway are the focus of the two-day peace talks on Syria that opened yesterday in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. Promoted by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the meeting is held behind closed doors and will end with a final press release.

    To date, one of the priorities of appointments in Kazakhstan has been the fight against Islamic State militias (IS). With Raqqa's conquest and the jihadist defeat in Syria, priority is now reserved for the path of reconciliation and the peace process.

    In the past, the Astana meeting, which gathered Damascus and the rebels together for the first time, proved to be more decisive in the diplomatic efforts promoted by the United Nations in Geneva (Switzerland). In one of these meetings, last May, there was the creation of  "de-escalation zones" of the conflict involving the ceasefire, no fly zones, the immediate supply of humanitarian aid and the return of refugees.

    The seventh round of talks is sponsored by Russia and Iran who are close to the government of Damascus and Turkey, the main supporter of the Syrian opposition. The leaders of the three countries seek to re-launch the peace process because "there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict", because the crisis can only be solved through a "political process".

    On the eve of the last meeting, in mid-September, Russia and Turkey had announced an agreement for the allocation of joint forces, aimed at maintaining stability in the Idlib province. These joint military operations forced the Jihadist militia in the area to retreat quickly. Russian representative to Astana Alexandre Lavrentiev said Moscow is ready to act as a "mediator" between Turkish forces and Syrian Army soldiers, who qualify as "illegal" with the presence of Ankara troops on the territory.

    China, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Iraq were also expected to participate in Astana. However, Turkey vetoed the Egyptian presence because the two countries are on opposite sides in the context of another crisis crossing the Middle East and that opposes Riyadh and Doha.

    The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, also addressed the peace talks in Kazakhstan, which renewed the call for a "more stable political solution" for the country. The next round of talks promoted by the United Nations in Geneva is scheduled for 28 November. The attempted agreement between the government and the rebels for a durable ceasefire depends on the political future of President Bashar al-Assad, whose expulsion is an essential precondition to peace in the country for the opposition. (DS)

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    See also

    05/05/2017 09:27:00 SYRIA - UN
    UN: Security zones in Syria an encouraging agreement, but it needs to be verified

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appreciates the commitment of Russia, Turkey and Iran to try to "end" the use of weapons. Four de-escalation areas. They will remain in force for at least six months. But the Syrian delegation and the rebels’ representatives in Astana refuse to sign. In Sochi Turkey and Russia relaunch bilateral cooperation.



    04/05/2017 10:22:00 SYRIA - RUSSIA - TURKEY
    Moscow: security zones and no-fly zones to strengthen ceasefire in Syria

    Russian President Putin spoke with US President Trump and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan. The aim is to facilitate the return of refugees and the delivery of aid to the population. It is also expected that foreign troops will be sent as observers. The rebels have suspended participation in Astana talks in protest of government air raids.



    10/07/2017 10:45:00 SYRIA - UN
    Geneva, New round of UN talks on Syria. The US-Russian brokered truce holds in the southwest

    The seventh round of UN-mediated meetings opens today in the Swiss city. Pessimism prevails among delegations. Opposition Leader: "modest expectations". Washington and Moscow mediate a ceasefire in three southwestern provinces, allowing aid delivery.



    05/07/2017 14:44:00 KAZAKHSTAN - SIRIA
    Vicar of Aleppo: more optimism than uncertainty in Astana, favouring the return of the displaced

    New round of government-opposition meetings in the Kazakhstan capital. The goal is to strengthen the safe areas. Archbishop Abou Khazen points out that every opportunity to meet is always "positive" even if the situation is "uncertain". Half a million displaced have returned to the lands of origin, 1300 towns pacified.



    23/01/2017 17:41:00 KAZAKHSTAN – SYRIA
    Syria peace talks start in Astana amid a "war of words" between government and rebels

    For the first time, government delegates and representatives of armed groups meet. Rebels refuse to hold the first session “face-to-face” to protest the government’s failure to respect the truce. Syria’s chief negotiator calls the opposition’s attitude "provocative". Russia’s role and Turkey’s shift are key factors.





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