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Russia, Kazakhstan Stress Need to Continue Geneva, Astana Paths | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Astana meeting/AP

Moscow- Russia and Kazakhstan said it is important that the international community supports a deal in Syria, as Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov expressed his belief that meetings held in Astana to discuss the Syrian file could be the culmination of the Geneva talks, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the need that external players support a ceasefire in the war-torn country.

In a statement delivered at the Eurasian Media Forum, the Kazakh foreign minister was keen to assert that the Astana talks were not a replacement of the Syrian talks held in Geneva.

“The Astana process, which discusses practical measures for resolving the Syrian crisis, is the culmination of the Geneva talks,” said the foreign minister.

Abdrakhmanov said there are currently 3 baskets in the Geneva talks, including the elections and the constitutional and government reforms. But, he also spoke about a fourth basket, which is the need to confront terrorism.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said that external players should support the Syrian ceasefire to focus on the fight against terrorism.

During a meeting with leader of Lebanon’s Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt, Lavrov said that the efforts being made to resolve the Syrian crisis received an additional impetus as a result of the initiatives put forward by Russia, Turkey and Iran, which he said, aim at introducing the ceasefire and setting up deescalation zones.

Lavrov said that the implementation of these initiatives “is planned to be discussed in Astana.”

Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev said on Saturday he was surprised to hear reports that his country could send peacekeeping troops to Syria.

During his visit to Moscow on Saturday, Atambayev told reports: “This question was not raised at all during my talks (in Russia).”

Atambayev said that such a move requires a UN resolution among other approvals.

Last Thursday, Vladimir Shamanov, head of the Russian Duma’s defense committee said his country was currently negotiating with Kyrgyz and Kazakh representatives the possibility of sending soldiers from both countries to Syria.