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Syria crisis ‘cannot be resolved by military means’, says Kazakhstan foreign minister

May 28, 2015, 20:28 UTC+3

"They [Syrians] should come to an agreement and reach a balanced compromise solution to ensure lasting peace for their country," Erlan Idrissov said

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ASTANA, May 28. /TASS/. The crisis in Syria cannot be resolved militarily, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov said on Thursday, calling for efforts to negotiate a peaceful solution.

"Kazakhstan believes that the Syrian crisis cannot be resolved by military means," Idrissov told a news conference after talks in the Kazakh capital Astana with members of the Syrian opposition, adding that a peaceful solution was the only alternative to it.

He noted that Syria's four-year conflict involved both internal and external forces. "There are many regional and global players involved in this crisis," he said. "That’s why we believe that, first of all, the Syrians themselves should find a peaceful negotiated solution."

"They should come to an agreement and reach a balanced compromise solution to ensure lasting peace for their country," Idrissov added.

Kazakhstan's top diplomat said he believed the Syrian conflict "is one of the most acute international crises". "It negatively affects not only the region, the Middle East, but also has a very severe impact on the global situation as a whole," he said.

Idrissov pointed to the fact that Syria was in large-scale humanitarian crisis.

"More than 250,000 people have been killed in military action in Syria. About four million are refugees," he said, noting that this also caused many problems for Syria’s neighbouring countries which were hosting them.

"This creates a large number of socio-economic and other problems in those countries where they [the Syrian refugees] are forced to resettle - in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon," he said.

Talks involving Syrian opposition figures started in the Kazakh capital on Monday and lasted three days behind closed doors. Some 30 representatives of various groups attended the gathering.

In a joint declaration adopted after the talks, participants called for withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria and revival of the country's own army. They also discussed "a road map" for political settlement of the years-long conflict.

Agreement was reached on humanitarian issues, including "establishment of corridors with support of such international organisations as the Red Cross and Red Crescent to deliver humanitarian aid to refugees".

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