Kazakhstan Ends Astana Process After 20th Round

ASTANA – The 20th round of the Astana Process on Syria concluded on June 21, as Kazakhstan announced that it will stop hosting the talks after they have achieved their purpose, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry informed.

Syrian talks in Astana. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since 2017, Astana has provided a platform for negotiations to representatives of Russia, Türkiye, Syria and Iran on ways to resolve the Syrian conflict. 

According to an official comment from the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, “initial goals of creating de-escalation zones, stopping bloodshed between the conflicting sides and preventing a large-scale humanitarian crisis have been achieved.”

Representatives of Türkiye. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Today, the political situation in the Middle East region is changing dramatically. There is a desire to restore relations between the Arab states and Damascus. Syria’s membership in the Arab League has been renewed. Our brother Republic of Türkiye intends to normalize relations with friendly Syria. In this regard, the gradual withdrawal of Syria from isolation in the region can be regarded with firm confidence as a successful result of the efforts of the so-called Astana Process on Syria,” reads the comment. 

The ministry added that if the participants of the International Meetings on Syria in the Astana format express a collective request to continue negotiations in the Kazakh capital, the country is willing to consider resuming the process as a gesture of goodwill, considering the progress of negotiations on other platforms and the overall situation in Syria.

Iran at Astana process on Syria. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Representatives from Russia, Türkiye and Iran, the Syrian government, the opposition, and observers attended the talks.

According to the joint statement issued by Iran, Russia, and Türkiye, the parties examined the latest international and regional developments and emphasized the leading role of the Astana Process in resolving the Syrian crisis. 

UN representatives. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The countries confirmed the commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and the United Nations Charter, which “should be universally respected and complied with,” according to the statement. 

“To help improve the humanitarian situation in Syria and achieve progress in a political settlement, [we] called on the international community, UN and its humanitarian agencies to increase their assistance to the whole of Syria through the implementation of the early recovery and resilience projects, including through the restoration of basic infrastructure assets – water and electricity supply facilities, sanitation, health, education, schools and hospitals as well as the humanitarian demining projects in line with international humanitarian law,” reads the statement.

Representatives of Russia. Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statement added that the consultations between the foreign ministers of Iran, Russia, Syria and Türkiye on June 20 had a “constructive spirit,” where they discussed a roadmap for the restoration of relations between Türkiye and Syria. 

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