Middle East // Comments

09 january 2017

Two Parallel Talks on Syria Settlement Might Be Held in Astana

Vitaly Naumkin Director of the RAS Institute for Oriental Studies, RAS Full Member, RIAC member

Kazakhstan’s capital Astana could become a platform for two parallel meetings on Syria crisis settlement – for talks between the delegations of the Syrian opposition and Damascus, as well as for talks of Russia, Turkey and Iran with participation of Kazakhstan, an adviser to the UN Special Envoy to Syria said Thursday.

"This is an international meeting, its terms are still unknown… There are actually two paths: the first is the talks between Iran, Turkey, Russia, joined now by the fourth part, Kazakhstan," Vitaly Naumkin told RIA Novosti.

He stressed that it was unknown whether the meeting would be trilateral or quadrilateral, whether it would be held at the level of foreign ministers or heads of state.

"The second [path] is the negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition. There is a very important, key issue, regarding whether… it would be able to form a single delegation of the opposition. It has always been the most difficult aspect," Naumkin said.

On December 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call the possibility of a meeting in Astana between the parties to the Syrian conflict with Russia, Iran and Turkey as potential mediators.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev supported the initiative and expressed readiness to provide a platform for such talks in the Kazakh capital.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia launched the groundwork for talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan alongside Turkey and Iran.

Source: Sputniknews

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Vitaly Naumkin, “Two Parallel Talks on Syria Settlement Might Be Held in Astana,” Russian International Affairs Council, 09 January 2017, http://russiancouncil.ru/en/inner/?id_4=8546

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