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Moscow optimistic about Astana meeting on Syria on January 23 — Russian delegation head

January 22, 22:38 UTC+3
Alexander Lavrentyev said he is confident differences at the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement will be bridged on Monday
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ASTANA, January 22. /TASS/. Moscow finds complete understanding from United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Russian president’s special envoy for the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentyev, who leads the Russian delegation to the talks in Astana, said on Sunday.

"Today, we had good consultations with United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura," he said. "We find complete understanding on his part and we are ready to offer all necessary assistance in reaching concrete good results. Let us hope for the better and let us wait for tomorrow.".

Participants in the Astana talks are sparing no effort to bring closer the positions of Damascus and the Syrian armed opposition, Lavrentyev said.

"There can be no simple solutions to this protracted conflict, but we are sparing no effort to try to bring closer the positions of the parties to the Syrian conflict, i.e. the government and armed opposition groups," he said.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have managed to bring closer their positions on most of the issues on the agenda of the meeting on Syria to be held in Astana on January 23, Lavrentyev said.

"Preparatory work has been rather intensive. Today, we spoke with the Iranian and Turkish sides in a trilateral format and have managed to bring closer our position on most of the issues on the agenda," he said.

Lavrentyev said he is confident differences at the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement will be bridged on Monday.

"I would prefer to speak not about differences but about common points," he said. "As for the differences, I am sure they will be overcome tomorrow.".

Participants in the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement continue to work on a final statement the talks are supposed to yield, Russian president’s special envoy for the Syrian settlement said.

"Work on the final statement continues," he said.

Efforts are continued to agree aspects of the meeting on Syria due to take place in Kazakhstan’s Astana, Russian president’s special envoy for the Syrian settlement said.

The United States’ ambassador to Kazakhstan, Goerge Krol, will be present at the intra-Syrian talks in Astana as an observer, Lavrentyev said.

"The guarantor countries - Russia, Iran and Turkey - will represented by delegation at the talks. There will be a delegation led by United Nations Secretary Generals’ Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura. The United States’ ambassador to Kazakhstan will also be present as an observer," he said.

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