Astana Talks

Astana talks guarantors to form congress for Syrian opposing sides

Press TV – Iran, Russia and Turkey have pledged to bring the Syrian government and opposition together for a “congress” to help them develop a lasting political solution to the ongoing conflict in the country.

A joint statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on the second day of Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on Tuesday, pointed to an “initiative of Russia” which listed 33 Syrian organizations invited to a “Congress of Syrian National Dialogue” in the Russian city of Sochi on November 18.

Humanitarian issues, including exchange of the detainees, were also among the key issues on the agenda of the second day of the intra-Syrian talks in Astana, mediated by Iran, Russia and Turkey.

During the talks, the Syrian government expressed preparedness to support political efforts aimed at reaching national reconciliation as well as possible amendments to Syria’s constitution.

Members of the delegations participate in the peace talks on Syria in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on October 31, 2017. (Reuters photo)

The seventh round of the Astana talks began on Monday with the participation of representatives from the Damascus government and opposition as well as the three guarantor states, the United Nations, Jordan and the United States.

The discussions have brought representatives from Syria’s warring sides to the negotiating table in a bid to end the foreign-backed militancy in the Arab country, which broke out in March 2011.

Six rounds of the negotiations took place on January 23-24, February 15-16, March 14-15, May 3-4, July 4-5 and September 14-15.

The fourth round of the Astana discussions in May resulted in an agreement on four de-escalation zones across Syria, which cover the provinces of Idlib and Homs as well as the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus and Syria’s southern border with Jordan.

The parties to the talks used the fifth round of the process to build up on the results of the May agreements.