Monday, 21 May, 2018

Syria warring sides, mediators close 9th round of peace talks in Astana

Turkey sets up 12th observation point in Syria's Idlib Ninth Round Of Syria Peace Talks Under Way In Astana
Kenny Thornton | 16 May, 2018, 17:15

On May 14, the ninth round of talks on Syria kicked off in Kazakhstan's capital of Astana.

According to a joint statement issued by the tripartite countries at the 9th round of Astana talks on Syria, the third meeting of the "Working Group on the release of detainees/abductees and handover of the bodies as well as the identification of missing persons by three Guarantors' representatives with the participation of the United Nations and ICRC experts" will be held in Ankara in June 2018. The three states act as the guarantors of the truce.

It, meanwhile, reminded that the zones were "temporary", and that their establishment was not to be misused towards undermining Syria's territorial integrity.

Turkey, Russia and Iran held both bilateral and trilateral meetings during the ninth round of Syria talks at Rixos Hotel in Astana.

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They also reaffirmed their resolve to keep fighting the Takfiri terror groups operating in Syria, especially Daesh and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is expected to attend the meeting in the afternoon; Jordan would be observing the talks.

The talks in Astana have been going on in tandem with another series of talks held in Geneva and brokered by the UN.

Astana platform's Guarantor States (Russia, Iran and Turkey) affirmed their firm commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called for the need to avoid all steps that would prejudice these principles and undermine the achievements of Astana process. However, they failed to achieve progress in the detainees' file.

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