Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Russian, Kazakh Foreign Affairs Ministries: No Official Date for Astana Meeting on Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55365475

The Russian foreign ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova © Alexander Vilf / RIA Novosti

Moscow – While Kazakhstan’s capital is preparing to host a meeting between the warring Syrian factions, a spokesperson of the Kazakh foreign affairs ministry said that the date of the meeting might be delayed.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hinted in her press briefing on Thursday that the proposed date of the meeting was not final.

Zakharova said that the proposed date of the meeting was not official and might be changed.

“When the date becomes final, we will announce it on the official level; and we will also announce the list of attendees and sponsors,” she said.

Zakharova added: “We expect the Astana meeting to become a new milestone on the way towards peace and give an impetus to constructive work of all the sides for resuming the political process in Geneva.”

“So far, we proceed from the date of January 23. We don’t have any other data so far,” she noted.

In an interview with a Kazakh local news agency, the spokesperson of Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry said that the date of the Syrian negotiations in Astana was still unclear.

The Kazakh diplomat did not rule out the possibility to postpone the meeting, saying: “Until now, we don’t have an official date for the negotiations.”

Meanwhile, the Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Turkish side’s initiative.

A statement by the Kremlin said that the two leaders focused on the situation in Syria.

“They pointed out that the ceasefire agreements reached between the Syrian government and the moderate opposition through the mediation of Russia and Turkey have been mostly complied with and agreed to continue their joint efforts to prepare the intra-Syrian talks in Astana, Kazakhstan”, the statement added.

Putin also had a telephone conversation with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

According to a statement by the Kremlin, the two leaders discussed preparations for the upcoming international conference on Syrian conflict resolution in Astana, and several other aspects of bilateral cooperation.