Kazakhstan Responds to Syrian Opposition Negotiation Request, Supports Continued Dialogue

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the country did receive a request from some quarters of the Syrian opposition to provide a platform for dialogue in the hopes that the involvement of Astana even in this way may be helpful to ending violence and bloodshed in the Middle Eastern nation.

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“We would like to confirm that we received a letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev from certain representatives of the Syrian opposition, which was reviewed as befits such cases and required by the rules of politeness. In this regard, a reply letter on behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov was also sent,” Altay Abibullayev, official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on April 20.

As a matter of principle, he said, “Kazakhstan supports the measures taken by the international community through the United Nations, the Arab League, the United States and the Russian Federation, as well as the actions of the Syrian government and the opposition aimed at determining the political future of Syria through dialogue and reconciliation with a view to the immediate end of violence and bloodshed. In this regard, Kazakhstan hopes for continued talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in the framework of the Geneva II Conference on resolution of the conflict in Syria. Kazakhstan strongly supports the position that resolution of the Syrian conflict is possible only by peaceful means.”

In his letter, the foreign minister emphasised that “Kazakhstan is ready to consider the possibility of establishing a dialogue platform for the concerned parties and in accordance with this, invite the authors of the address to Astana for the first informal and non-public exchange of views,” Abibullayev added. “The letter specially pointed out that the format, composition of the delegations, its representativeness, commitments and final goals of the participants of the proposed platform are particularly important for achieving success.”

The spokesman explained that at the moment the talk now is only about a deeper study of this issue, confirming that Kazakhstan supports the existing negotiating platforms, such as the ones in Geneva and Moscow, and “has no ambitions to solve the Syrian crisis or intentions to replace the existing platforms.”

According to the spokesman, in his letter, Idrissov also noted the “deepest concern over the grave humanitarian crisis in Syria” and stressed that Kazakhstan has provided assistance to ease the conditions of the civilian population in Syria and intends to pursue further work in this direction, as well as believes that the international community should place priory focus on this area.

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