Iran to Attend Astana Talks on Syria

UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Syria Staffan de Mistura gives a press conference during the Intra Syrian peace talks at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva

Iran to Attend Astana Talks on Syria

The United Nations Security Council says intra-Syrian negotiations organized by Iran, Russia, and Turkey in the Kazakh capital city of Astana set the stage for stalled UN-brokered peace talks to resume in the Swiss city of Geneva.

"In general, we are satisfied with the way the Astana process is going on, the driving force of which is the trio of guarantors of ceasefire regime - Russia, Turkey and Iran", she said, further adding that Russia believes a new meeting in Astana will be a great help for the fifth round of intra-Syrian negotiations under United Nations auspices in Geneva scheduled for March 23. Russian Federation and the United States are the co-chairs of the taskforces and the ISSG, which also comprises the UN, the Arab League, the European Union and 16 other countries.

Within the framework of the Astana Process, launched with the full support and direct participation of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, there were two rounds of high-level worldwide meetings on Syria on 23rd-24th January and 15th-16th February, 2017, and a meeting of experts was held on 6th February.

The coordination of efforts on monitoring the ceasefire in Syria, which allowed the parties to discuss the two sides' political agenda, was the main outcome of these meetings.

The statement added that rebel participation in Astana talks would depend on whether the government and its allies adhere ceasefire.

Many experts assessed the agreement between Russia, Turkey, and Iran on the establishment of a tripartite mechanism as a step to a political solution which might end the six-year war.

Iran is a major backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, using both its own forces and Shiite proxies, including the terrorist group Hezbollah, to help bolster his regime. "He was the point man who personally negotiated with President Vladimir Putin Russia's military intervention in September 2015, according to unnamed security officials who spoke with Reuters".

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