Astana Talks

Kazakhstan urges US to attend May Astana talks on Syria as observer

Sputnik – Kazakhstan called on the United States to participate as an observer in the next round of Astana talks on settlement of the Syrian conflict, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

ASTANA (Sputnik) — On Friday, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov held a meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in New York City and discussed a number of bilateral and international issues.

“As for the Astana process, the Kazakh side has highly recommended the US representatives to continue its support of this track of intra-Syria settlement related to the ceasefire regime and actively participate as an observer [in the Astana format talks],” the statement said.

Moreover, Kazakhstan stresses the necessity to continue the negotiations on the settlement of the Syrian conflict within the framework of the Astana format, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement of Sunday.

On Friday, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov held a meeting with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the UN Security Council.

“Abdrakhmanov informed the interlocutor with the progress of the Astana process, stressing the need to continue it. [Abdrakhmanov’s] UK counterpart supported the efforts of Kazakhstan, stressing the interest in further settlement of the Syrian crisis,” the statement said.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Kazakhstan’s capital is expected to host the fourth round of talks between Damascus and the Syrian opposition. The Asian city has already hosted three rounds of talks brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran, held on January 23-24, February 15-16 and March 14-15. Washington has participated as an observer in the previous rounds of Astana talks.