Lavrov: Astana talks aim to consolidate Syria truce
Jan 17, 2017 12:12 pm
Russia’s Foreign Minister also said that Russia invites representatives of the United Nations and the new US administration to Syria talks in Astana
The aim of the upcoming peace talks on the Syria crisis in Astana, Kazakhstan, which is to be held on Jan. 23, is to consolidate a ceasefire and involve opposition field commanders in the political process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday at his annual press conference.
Mr Lavrov also pointed out that the Astana talks will be different from any previous efforts because more opposition militants will have the right to be present and join the ceasefire, not just political opposition.
He also said that Moscow hopes that Western countries will not try to undermine ceasefire agreements in Syria and participate to the talks.
“We expect that the new US administration will be able to accept the invitation and will be represented [at Astana talks] by its experts at any possible level,” the Russian foreign minister said, adding that the UN representatives are also invited to participate to the talks.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held his annual press conference to review the results of Russian foreign diplomacy in 2016.
During the news conference, Mr Lavrov also talked on Russia-US relations in the wake of the new administration in the White House. According to him, Russia hopes the cooperation on the Syrian crisis and other issues will be more efficient with Trump’s team than with Obama administration.
Earlier today, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov told reporters that Kazakhstan is fully prepared to host intra-Syrian talks in Astana scheduled for Jan. 23.
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