Astana 9 Meeting Announces Steps to Activate Syria Political Process

Astana 9 Meeting Announces Steps to Activate Syria Political Process

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018 - 07:45
The ninth round of the Astana peace talks ended on Tuesday. (AP)
Moscow - Raed Jaber
Russia, Turkey and Iran reached on Tuesday an agreement over steps aimed at pushing forward the political settlement in Syria, while revealing that they will hold a meeting in Sochi, Russia, in July.

Meeting in Astana for the ninth round of peace talks, the ceasefire guarantors affirmed their commitment to the truce and continuing efforts to bolster regions of deescalation. However, they failed to achieve progress in the detainees’ file.

Despite this, Ahmad Tu'mah, the head of the Syrian opposition delegation, expressed satisfaction over the round’s outcomes and noted that Moscow was exerting serious pressure on the regime to encourage it to accept the political settlement.

At the end of the Astana talks, Russia, Turkey and Iran issued a joint statement that included a number of points that aim at supporting the political settlement process in Syria.

They revealed an agreement to hold consultations with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura and the Syrian parties to “prepare the suitable conditions to launch the constitutional committee in Geneva, as soon as possible.”

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.

Tu'mah expressed to Asharq Al-Awsat the opposition's satisfaction with the results of the Astana 9 talks, adding that he felt palpable Russian efforts to push the regime towards the political solution.

The Russian president's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, stated that the Astana process is ongoing and will continue, hailing the results of the ninth round and describing them as positive.

Head of the Syrian regime delegation to Astana Bashar Jaafari also expressed satisfaction regarding the outcomes, stressing that Syria will continue to fight terrorism and liberate every inch of its territory.

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