Iraqi, Lebanese delegations to join Astana Process Syrian talks as observers

NUR-SULTAN – Delegations from Iraq and Lebanon will participate as observers in the 13th round of Astana Process Syrian talks Aug. 1-2 in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced July 31.

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A Syrian government delegation headed by its Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari and a leader of the armed opposition Ahmad al-Touma have also confirmed their participation. Guarantor states Russia, Turkey and Iran will also participate as well as a UN delegation represented by the deputy special envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria.

As expected, the August talks will focus specifically on the province of Idlib and the situation in northeastern Syria, seeking confidence building between the conflicting parties and advancing the political process to create and launch a Constitutional Committee, according to the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It had earlier stated that the Astana Process talks, launched in January 2017 and initially focused solely on the de-escalation of violence in the long civil war in Syria, will be complementary to the Geneva process where the political resolution was to be dealt with.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are expected to meet on the meeting’s sidelines for the Astana Working Group on Detentions and Abductions in the Syrian Conflict.

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