Astana Talks

Iranian FM Advisor: No replacement for Sochi, Astana talks

FNA- Senior Advisor to the Iranian foreign minister Hossein Sheikholeslam underlined that nothing can replace the Sochi and Astana talks which have truly focused on resolving the crisis in Syria politically.

“Actually, there is no replacement for the Astana and Sochi meetings and at present, the two conferences are the only effective talks to resolve the crisis in Syria,” Sheikholeslam said on Monday.

He referred to Washington and Riyadh’s attempts to hold parallel talks with Astana, and said, “Such efforts do not yield result as Saudi Arabia and the US play no role in the settlement of this crisis.”

Sheikholeslam stressed the necessity for Iran, Russia and Turkey, as guarantors for Astana talks, to try to make the Sochi conference more comprehensive and move in the direction of the Syrian people’s demand, adding, “Iran has always emphasized that the Syrian people’s demand should be implemented, and other countries are not allowed to decide for them.”

In relevant remarks in January, Sheikholeslam underlined the necessity for the Syrian people to approve the results of any international meeting on the fate of their country, including the Sochi conference.

“The important issue in the current conditions is reaching Syrian-Syrian talks and the Sochi meeting will be held with the same goal,” Sheikholeslam said.

He stressed that the Syrian people will finally decide about their fate, and said, “All talks and meetings on the crisis in Syria should finally be approved by the Syrian nation in a referendum.”

The Sochi talks, which are in fact dialogues between some of the Syrian opposition parties and the Syrian government, were held last week with the participation of the three guarantor countries (Iran, Russia and Turkey).

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres sent de Mistura, to the Syrian peace conference in Russia.

Guterres voiced confidence that the congress in Sochi will be an important contribution to revive the UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva.

The UN decision to send its envoy to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi came despite the Syrian opposition’s calls for the boycott of the event.

Some 1,600 people were invited to the talks aimed at resolving the years-long crisis in the Arab country.

Last December, Iran, Russia, and Turkey agreed to hold the congress in Sochi on January 29-30. While the Syrian government at the time immediately announced that it would attend the event, some Syrian “opposition” groups rejected the Russian initiative, which is also aimed at agreeing on a post-war constitution in the Arab country.