Kazakhstan “seriously concerned” over growing tensions in Syria, calls for investigation of chemical attack

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “serious concern” over the growing tensions in Syria in an April 8 statement on the situation in that country.

“Kazakhstan strongly condemns any use of weapons of mass destruction as immoral, inhuman and contravening the principles of humanity,” the ministry said in the statement. “We deem it fundamentally important to conduct a comprehensive, objective and impartial international investigation of this fact under the auspices of the United Nations in order to bring to justice those responsible.”

According to the ministry, “further escalation of the conflict and hardening of positions of the parties jeopardize all previously reached agreements of the world community in the fight against the terrorist threat, including those reached in the framework of the Geneva and Astana processes, and dim the prospect of achieving a comprehensive peace and harmony on the Syrian land.”

“We emphasise the importance of maintaining and strengthening the regime of cessation of hostilities between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and armed opposition groups, which was enacted on December 30, 2016. We call upon the guarantor states of the Astana process to exert maximum effort to prevent further escalation of the conflict,” the ministry said.

Earlier this year Astana hosted three rounds of high-level talks on ending the military confrontation in Syria as part of that has become known as the Astana process. It brought together representatives of the three guarantor states, Russia, Turkey and Iran, as well as the Syrian government and armed opposition, along with representatives of the UN, the United States and Jordan.

“Kazakhstan firmly adheres to the position that the settlement of the Syrian conflict is possible only by peaceful means of dialogue and reconciliation, and calls for the continuation of direct negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups on maintaining the ceasefire within the framework of the Astana process with the involvement of all parties concerned,” the statement from the foreign ministry concluded.

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