Hossein Jaberi Ansari

Iran: Continued ceasefire in Syria main topic of Astana talks

FNA- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari announced that the new round of Astana talks will focus on keeping the all-inclusive ceasefire in Syria in place.

“The necessity for continued comprehensive ceasefire in Syria, coordination to establish stability in the specified regions, studying the actions made by the joint commission, including Iran, Russia and Turkey, which supervises the ceasefire will be among the main themes of these negotiations,” Jaberi Ansari told reporters upon arrival at Almaty airport in Kazakhstan.

The second round of Astana talks on peace in Syria will be held in Astana on Wednesday and Thursday at the level of deputy foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey.

The Russian foreign minister said on Sunday that Moscow was preparing another meeting between the Syrian government and armed opposition.

Moscow is preparing another contact between the Syrian government and representatives of the country’s armed opposition, Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s NTV channel broadcast.

“We are working on the issue of preparation of yet another contact between the [Syrian] government and armed members of opposition and we continue to attract additional armed groups to join the process,” Lavrov said.

Moscow does not make any attempts to replace the UN-backed Geneva process aimed at reaching settlement in Syria by the negotiations held in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, Lavrov added.

“I want to fully clarify one point: we have said at all levels that we are not trying to replace UN efforts (but to a large extent our initiative was caused by the fact that it was impossible to tolerate inactivity anymore) and we understand that the number of participants in talks from both from parties to Syrian conflict and from ‘the external actors’ should be bigger than the one in Astana,” he underlined.

“In parallel with the Astana process, which we would like to maintain as a ‘driver,’ we are preparing for the talks under the UN auspices,” the Russian diplomat added, reminding that the Geneva talks are expected to take place on February 20.