Alwaght- Senior Syrian diplomat says Thursday’s Astana 2 talks paved the way for the upcoming Geneva conference on Syria’s peace.
Head of the Syrian delegation Bashar al-Jaafari said his assessment of the track of Astana is a positive one as long as it serves the main “noble” aim behind coming to Astana, that is achieving the consolidation of the cessation of hostilities and the separation of the armed groups that signed the agreement and from those who refused to sign it, meaning the separation between the groups that believe in political solution and the terrorists.
In a press conference following the plenary session, al-Jaafari said Astana 2 meeting has paved the way for the upcoming Geneva conference, which needs to take into account the outcomes of both meetings in Astana that should be at the core of the schedule of the next Geneva meeting.
The second round of Astana talks was expected to take place on February 15-16, however on Tuesday Syria's state television said that the beginning of the negotiations had been postponed until Thursday, because the delegations of both the Syrian armed opposition and Turkey had not arrived in the Kazakh capital, Astana yet.
The first round of Astana talks on Syrian crisis settlement brought together the representatives of the Syrian government and the armed opposition groups for the first time in the six years of the Syrian war. As a result of the talks, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish a trilateral mechanism to monitor the ceasefire that came into effect on December 30, 2016.
Al-Jaafari noted that the meetings which the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic held with the Russian and Iranian friends were “fruitful” and that they have contributed a great deal to the convening of this meeting.
He affirmed that Syria is committed to the arrangements of the cessation of hostilities agreement out of its care for ending the Syrian bloodshed, stressing however that “my country maintains the right to respond to any breach of these arrangements by the armed terrorist groups.”
Meanwhile, a senior Russian diplomat said on Thursday that document adopted at the Astana talks on a joint trilateral group to monitor the ceasefire in Syria and facilitate the elaboration of confidence-building measures among the warring sides has been the main result of the meeting in the Kazakh capital,
Russian Foreign Ministry Special Envoy for the Mideast Settlement and Director of the Department of the Middle East and North Africa Sergei Vershinin made this statement during a Moscow-Damascus-Astana video link on the negotiations in the Kazakh capital and the prospects of the inter-Syrian settlement.
"A specific result of what has taken place in Astana is the adoption of a provision on a joint group to comprise Russia, Iran and Turkey," the diplomat said.