Syria talks to start in Kazakhstan’s capital on January 23

Central Downtown Astana, Kazakhstan

Talks between the Syrian Government and opposition groups will begin in Astana, Kazakhstan, on January 23, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on January 4. He also said that Russian experts are expected to arrive in Turkey on January 9-10 to discuss the forthcoming Syrian negotiations in the capital of Kazakhstan.

“The negotiations will begin in Astana on January 23. We will continue work over the political settlement [of the Syrian crisis],” the Turkish foreign minister said in an interview with the Anadolu news agency.

“If we are unable to stop the ceasefire violations, the Astana meeting may fail,” the Turkish minister said.

The United Nations Security Council on December 31 unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and “jumpstart a political process” for the war-torn country.

A cease-fire agreement brokered by Moscow and Ankara was signed on December 29 by the Syrian Government and opposition.

The resolution also said that the UN Security Council “looks forward to” the meeting in Astana, viewing it as “an important part of the Syrian-led political process”.

In its statement on December 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan said it welcomes the agreements on ceasefire in the entire territory of Syria and the readiness of the Syrian Government and the armed opposition to engage in peace negotiations guaranteed by Russia and Turkey.

The ministry confirmed the readiness announced earlier by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to host such negotiations in Astana, saying that “we understand that the negotiations can be held only provided consistent compliance with the ceasefire regime is ensured”. (Timesca.com)

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