Astana talks on Syria set to take place July 7-8

Delegations from Turkey, Iran, and Russia will attend the 16th round of Astana talks

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Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that a high-level meeting will take place on July 7-8 in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan.

Delegations from the guarantor countries: Turkey, Iran, and Russia, alongside officials from the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition groups, will attend the international meeting. The United Nations, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq will send high representatives to take part as observers.

Discussions will center around the situation on the ground in Syria, the socio-economic and sanitary-epidemiological issues, international humanitarian assistance to Syria, prospects of the resumption of the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, confidence-building measures including prisoner exchanges, the release of hostages, and the search for missing persons.

The guarantor states, the UN, and experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will also participate in the meeting of the Working Group on Forcibly Detained Persons.

The Astana peace process was launched in January 2017 by the collaboration of Turkey, Russia, and Iran in an attempt to end the Syrian conflict as well as contributing to the advancement of the UN-led diplomatic process in Geneva.

The 15th international meeting took place between February 16 and 17 in Russia’s Sochi. Parties reiterated their determination to maintain calm on the ground by reaching an agreement over Idlib and their support for the UN-supported Geneva process.

The 16th meeting was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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