Alwaght- The UN Special Envoy for Syria on Thursday has praised as effective, the Russian-Iranian-Turkish trilateral expert-level meeting, which was held in Iran Tehran.
Staffan de Mistura said the Tehran meeting held on Tuesday and Wednesday for the guarantors of Astana talks on Syria, worked effectively on enhancing the cessation of hostilities agreement and the preparation for the upcoming Astana meeting.
In a press conference in Geneva, de Mistura said that Tehran meeting was not political but an expert-level meeting as the guarantor countries have worked actively with the United Nations to strengthen the cessation of hostilities agreement and prepare for the next Astana meeting, considering the upcoming meeting in Astana as “good and contributor”.
He pointed out that there was some sort of movement on the issue of the besieged and detained persons and the issue of mine clearance.
The UN official announced that he would hold talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in Geneva on Monday and that the United States had declined to take part in any trilateral meeting for now.
“The trilateral meeting that as you know was a possibility is being postponed, it is not taking place on Monday. It will be a bilateral. But the trilateral is not off the table, just being postponed,” de Mistura added.
“There is a clearly an intention to maintain and resume these trilateral discussions, the date and circumstances were not conducive for this to happen on Monday,” de Mistura said answering a question about the US administration intent to participate in the trilateral meeting.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Statement
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement following the conclusion of the Tehran meeting.
The statement noted that, in the framework of the International Meeting on Syria (Astana Process), Tehran hosted the Expert Meeting and the meetings of the Joint Group by the three Guarantor States, on April 18-19, 2017.
In Tehran meetings, delegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Turkish Republic discussed the draft documents proposed to the three parties, including documents pertaining to the ceasefire regime (declared on 30 December 2016 in Syria) and its implementation, exchange of detainees and abductees. A delegation of experts from the United Nations joined the trilateral meetings as observers, bringing in invaluable expertise and technical assistance.
The Tehran meeting was held in preparation for the 4th International meeting on Syria, due in Astana on May 3-4, 2017. All delegations agreed to hold next expert-level meeting prior to the high-level meeting on May 2nd.
Iran’s hope of an end to Syrian conflict
Reaffirming the necessity of dealing with all aspects of the Syrian crisis ¬¬at the same time_ military aspect and combat against terrorism, finding a political solution through intra-Syrian agreements and the humanitarian aspect_ the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its hope that the Astana Process and other international efforts would bring an end to the Syrian conflict as soon as possible and pave the way for an effective and inclusive combat against terrorism which is a demand of the international community.
The first round of the Astana talks, organized by guarantor states Iran, Russia and Turkey, took place on January 23-24 and brought together representatives from the Damascus government and opposition groups. The second round of the negotiations, similarly brokered by the trio, was held on February 15-16.
UN-brokered talks for Syria, which had been going on for a long time prior to the Astana talks, but have not borne fruit due to intransigence by Saudi-backed groups.
Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups since March 2011. De Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.