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Russian UN envoys says Astana talks were important shake-up for Syria settlement process

January 26, 2017, 8:58 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Now the process of peace settlement needs to continue in Geneva, the Russian diplomat said

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© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

UNITED NATIONS, January 26. /TASS/. The just-ended Astana talks that involved representatives of both official Damascus and the opposition was "an important shake-up" for the process of peace settlement of the Syrian crisis which is to be continued by the United Nations-brokered negotiations in Geneva, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said on Wednesday.

"I think everybody agrees it was an important shake-up for the [settlement] process. Now it needs to continue in Geneva, new people are going to be involved now into these discussions. I think the result [of the Astana talks] was good," he said.

He said he doesn’t think the communique adopted after the Astana talks needs any approval from the United Nations Security Council. "I haven't received any instructions to that effect [from Moscow]. It stands on its own well enough I think," the Russian diplomat noted.

Talks on Syria were held in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Astana on January 23-24. They involved delegations of the Syrian armed opposition and of the official authorities, as well as Russia, Iran and Turkey as ceasefire agreement guarantors. The talks yielded a final communique which provides for the establishment of a ceasefire monitoring mechanism.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow hopes the Astana conference will be a sound basis for the talks in Geneva scheduled for February 8. "I believe it important to point out that the participants of the process in Astana have documented the impossibility of a military solution to the Syria crisis," Putin said at a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Wednesday. "We are hoping very much that the Astana talks will be a sound basis in order this negotiating process can be continued in Geneva."

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