Astana Syria talks fail to reach deal on aid, captives

Seventh round ends without agreement on humanitarian aid access, exchange of prisoners

Astana Syria talks fail to reach deal on aid, captives

World Bulletin / News Desk

A seventh round of Syria peace talks ended without an agreement on Tuesday in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

Parties attending the talks failed to reach an agreement on uninterrupted humanitarian access to the regions under blockade, and the exchange of captives and prisoners, according to sources who attended the meeting.

The guarantor countries --Turkey, Russia and Iran -- agreed to continue to work on the two issues, the sources said.

Reading a joint statement from the three countries, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said they welcomed progress in the implementation of the memorandum on the creation of de-escalation areas in Syria reached on May 4.

The countries emphasized the "significant" reduction of violence on the ground in Syria as a result of measures taken to strengthen and maintain the cease-fire regime, including launching the de-escalation areas and creating the security zones, the Kazakh minister said.

The countries reaffirmed their determination to take all necessary measures to continue to fight against terrorism within and outside the de-escalation areas.

They also agreed that there was "no" military solution to the Syrian issue and that it should be solved through political process.

Abdrakhmanov said the countries agreed to discuss Russia’s proposal to convene a "Congress of the national dialogue”.

He said conflicting parties needed to take "confidence‑building measures" including the release of detainees/abductees and the handover of the bodies as well as identification of missing persons, to create better conditions for political process and lasting cease-fire.

The three countries also underlined the necessity to further increase the international humanitarian aid to Syria, and to provide rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

The next meeting in Astana is expected to be held in the second half of December.

The Astana talks, which focused on strengthening a cease-fire that came into effect on Dec. 30, were brokered by Turkey, which backs the opposition, and Russia and Iran, who support Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The two-day meeting in Astana also addressed the release of prisoners and hostages, and humanitarian action on mines.

Representatives of the Syrian regime, armed opposition groups, the three guarantor countries, as well as delegations from the UN, Jordan and the U.S. attended the talks.

Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2017, 12:22
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