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Kazakhstan’s top diplomat: Talks on Syrian opposition’s participation in Astana underway

April 18, 10:47 UTC+3 ASTANA

Kazakhstan’s top diplomat notes the issue of the Syrian armed opposition’s participation is within the competence of the guarantor countries

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ASTANA, April 18. /TASS/. The countries acting as the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire are holding talks on the participation of the Syrian armed opposition in the international meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Tuesday.

"The issue of the Syrian armed opposition’s participation is within the competence of the guarantor countries. During the previous rounds of the negotiations, Turkey did its utmost to make sure that the armed opposition groups take part in the talks here," he noted.

Abdrakhmanov recalled that during one of the rounds Jordan was represented as an observer and also ensured the participation of the Syrian armed groups located in southern Syria, closer to the border with Jordan in the Astana talks. "This fact shows that all parties interested in resolving this conflict by peaceful means are making vigorous efforts to persuade the Syrian armed opposition, firstly, to join the ceasefire and, secondly, to take part in the Astana process," he underscored.

Kazakhstan’s top diplomat also noted the consolidation of stances of all the parties concerned to strengthen both the Geneva and Astana negotiation processes.

"The consolidation of the positions of all parties concerned is underway on the need to strengthen both the Geneva political settlement process and the Astana platform where the cessation of hostilities is discussed," Abdrahmanov noted.

He added that Kazakhstan is getting ready to hold an international meeting in Astana on the situation in Syria. "A meeting of the guarantor countries is to take place in Tehran one of these days. After it we will be briefed on the next steps by the guarantor countries as part of the Astana process. Anyway, as planned, on May 3-4, we are getting ready for the next meeting within the framework of the Astana process," the top diplomat said.

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