Astana (Kazakhstan) : A new round of Astana negotiations on the Syrian crisis, which brings together the Syrian regime and representatives of factions of the Syrian opposition, began in Kazakhstan on October 30, 2017 to discuss ending the conflict that claimed the lives of more than 330,000 people and led to the displacement of millions of people within six years.
During the high-level Astana conference, issues related to terrorism will be discussed and a joint statement on demining as well as military and technical issues will be adopted in parallel with political talks in Geneva.
The negotiations will be announced after the visit of the Special Envoy to Syria, Stephane de Mistura, the seventh, sponsored by Russia and Iran, the allies of Damascus and Turkey, which supports the opposition factions, which resulted in the previous six rounds of the establishment of four areas to reduce tension in Syria, Largely to calm the various fronts of fighting between government forces and the armed opposition.
The Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, announced on Friday that all parties to the Syrian settlement will attend the seventh round of negotiations in Astana. The Ministry confirmed that this round would be held with the participation of the delegations of the Government and the Syrian opposition, as well as representatives of the United Nations, the United States and Jordan as observers. According to the statement, the Guarantor States (Russia, Turkey and Iran) intend to hold bilateral and trilateral consultations at the expert level, one day before the plenary meeting, with the participation of all parties in the Kazakh capital.
He explained that the aim of Astana 7 is to “preserve what has been achieved in stabilising the cessation of fighting in Syria, in addition to strengthening efforts in the context of extending the stability of the country, in the transition to a political settlement of the crisis.”
In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country is working in a balanced and careful manner with all those involved in the settlement process in Syria, taking into account their interests.
“Russia is facing terrorism alongside the legitimate Syrian government and other countries in the region and is working on the basis of international law, according to the Russian Sputnik agency,” Putin said at the closing plenary session of the Waldai International Dialogue Forum held this week.
“I would like to say that these actions are positive, and that is not easy for us, but we are patient and with all those involved in this process, and we weigh every step and word, while respecting their interests.”
The Russian president accused some parties of blocking the fight against terrorism, so as to continue chaos in the Middle East, instead of cooperating jointly to eliminate it.
“Instead of settling the situation in common and actually striking terrorism rather than simulating it, some of our partners are doing everything, so that the chaos in the Middle East continues,” Putin said. “It seems so far that this chaos can be controlled.”
The sixth round of the Astana talks, held last September, resulted in an agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran to establish a fourth area to reduce the escalation in the province of Idlib, adding to three areas in the north of the city of Homs and in the eastern region of Ghouta and the Syrian border with Jordan in the province of Daraa.
The participants agreed on the maps of the central regions of Syria to reduce tension. The document on demining in the archaeological areas of Syria was agreed upon, but disagreements arose between the delegation of the government and Iran on the one hand and Turkey on the subject of the abductees and the detainees.
On May 4, 2017 negotiations were held “Astana 4” where the representatives of the guarantors of the Armistice Agreement in Syria signed a special memorandum, the establishment of areas to stop the escalation in Syria, during the final public meeting.
The document was signed by the heads of delegations of Russia, Turkey and Iran, respectively, the Russian President’s envoy to the Syrian settlement, Alexander Lafrintev, Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sadiat Onal, and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Gabri Ansari.
On March 15, 2017, the “Astana 3” negotiations established a working group on the exchange of prisoners and the release of detainees, including the parties to the conflict, the Guarantor States, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. “A team is set up to arbitrarily release The identity of missing persons in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria “and that” the objective of the Working Group is to organize the release by the conflicting parties in Syria. ”
On 23 February 2017, the second round of negotiations on the Syrian settlement in Astana ended. The city of Astana was considered an additional platform for the Syrian peace process, after negotiations in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations.
The second international meeting in Astana ended with the agreement to establish a “working group” to monitor the cessation of hostilities in Syria, although the detailed plan for agreements between the government and the armed opposition was not implemented.
Negotiations to resolve the Syrian crisis in the Kazakh capital of Astana represent a way towards a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria, where Astana provides a platform for dialogue between the parties to the Syrian conflict and works towards a peaceful solution to the conflict.
According to the latest United Nations statistics, the military conflict in Syria has led to the loss of more than 300,000 victims, displacement and displacement of millions of Syrians internally, to neighboring countries and to Europe
(Author is Editor with Media Hub Int’l Dubai.)