Astana Talks

Astana talks may evolve in Russia-Iran-Turkey-Syria security system

Sputnik – Setting up a new regional security system potentially comprising Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria to counter terrorism and prevent new regional conflicts should become one of Astana talks’ main priorities, a member of the Damascus Platform opposition group, Tarek Ahmad, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The spokesman’s statement comes as the Syrian conflict enters the seventh year. On March 15 and 16, 2011, the Syrian authorities suppressed demonstrations in Damascus against President Bashar Assad. Since then the country has been suffering from the civil war between government troops and numerous opposition and terrorist organizations.

“I am not very optimistic about the Syrian political process. We have Geneva proximity talks and Astana meetings, which are more realistic than Geneva. What we lacks today is coordination based not on the theory but on the realistic assessment of the situation on the ground. The reality is that Syria is mired in many regional conflicts now. Astana should pave way for a new regional security system comprising Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria to counter terrorism and prevent new regional conflict,” Ahmad, who is also a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), said.

According to the politician, multilateral cooperation against terrorism was and still is the main target of the Russian diplomacy in the Middle East and in Syria.

On March 14-15, the Kazakh capital of Astana hosts the third round of intra-Syrian talks with participation of Russia, Iran and Turkey, the guarantors of the Syria ceasefire agreement, the Syrian government and some military opposition groups.