Astana Talks

UN commends Iran, Turkey, Russia over trilateral Syria mechanism

Press TV- UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has lauded Iran, Russia, and Turkey for the establishment of a trilateral mechanism to support the ceasefire in Syria.

De Mistura made the remarks on Tuesday after Syrian peace talks wrapped up in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, with the three countries agreeing to work out a trilateral accord with the goal of supervising the ceasefire in the Arab country to guarantee all parties’ commitment to the truce and prevent possible violations of the ceasefire.

After thanking the government of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for hosting the talks, de Mistura went on to express his gratitude to the sponsors of the meeting, “Iran, the Russian Federation and Turkey, for their determination to build on their achievements of last month when they assumed the responsibility of guarantors of a ceasefire regime in Syria.”

The three countries also stressed that there was no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and it can be only resolved through a political process based on full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.

De Mistura also stated that the UN is prepared to help the parties to develop the trilateral mechanism, and ensure that it moves towards bolstering the quality of the ceasefire.

From L: Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, Russia’s special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari pose after the announcement of a final statement following Syria peace talks in Astana on January 24, 2017.

“Let me commend Russia, Turkey and Iran for their decision to establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire,” he added.

Russia hands Syria militants draft constitution 

After the talks came to an end, Russia announced that it had given the militants a draft version of a new constitution compiled by Moscow to speed up talks towards ending the conflict.

“We have handed the Syrian armed opposition a draft constitution of Syria prepared by Russian specialists for them to study,” said Russia’s envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev. He added that this was done “exclusively to accelerate” the process of ending the war.

However, the militants announced that they would not enter talks over any constitution with Russia. “The Russians put the draft on the table and we didn’t even pick it up,” said a source from the militant delegation in Astana. “We told them we refuse to discuss this.”

Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy over the past almost six years. De Mistura estimated in August last year that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syria crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.