In Astana, negotiations for a settlement of the conflict in Syria will be arranged

  • 2017-01-12
  • Jonas Duda

It seems that a long-awaited breakthrough of the conflict in Syria is approaching. The parties are ready to start negotiations in a neutral country – in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

In fact, negotiations for a settlement of the conflict in Syria have been taking place since the very beginning of the conflict, i.e. for over three years(the conflict started nearly 6 years ago….. In the said period, both formats and locations of the talks, as well as their participants changed. There were the meetings in Lausanne, Vienna Round and Geneva Format. The unsuccessful attempts at a cease fire of the Civil War that (according to various data) resulted in about 400,000 victims already over three years. Almost 7 million residents of Syria were forced to leave their homes and turned into refugees.

Representatives of the authorities and the moderate opposition of Syria, delegates from Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have already declared their readiness to be involved in the negotiations. The United States of America, China and the United Nations expressed their support for the meeting in Astana.  The Presidents of Russia and Turkey, in their conversations by phone with Nursultan Nazarbayev, said that their countries are highly interested in the arrangement of the peace negotiations, namely in the territory of Kazakhstan. The leader of Kazakhstan declared that his country is ready to provide a space for the negotiations and ensure favorable conditions for them.  Kazakhstan is a neutral country that is absolutely free of any political influence, not only in respect to the conflict in Syria.

In addition, it should be noted that Astana provided its territory for negotiations twice, and the only document on a settlement of the crisis in Syria accepted by all interested parties is the Astana Declaration, that is valid at present as well.

In the opinion of some experts, the Astana Round of negotiations may play an important role in the settlement of the conflict.