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UN envoy invited to international meeting on Syria — Lavrov

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has been invited to the Astana process meeting on Syria that will take place in Kazakhstan’s capital of Nur-Sultan on April 25-26, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following a ministerial session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum.

"Russia informed our Arab friends about the work that is being done within the Astana process in order to establish a Syrian constitutional committee as soon as possible and launch a political settlement process," he said. "Yesterday, I discussed the matter with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. I urged him to contribute to the success of the next Astana meeting that will take place in Nur-Sultan later in the month, noting that UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has been invited to participate in it," the Russian top diplomat noted.

Lavrov pointed out that participants in the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum had agreed to continue facilitating efforts to resolve the Syria issue through political means based on the United Nations Security Council Resoluiton 2254 and decisions made at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in January 2018.

"We [Russia], in turn, have welcomed the emerging understanding that Syria needs to return to the Arab family of countries, that is, the Arab League," the Russian foreign minister emphasized.

The Kazakh capital hosted the previous high-level meeting on Syria on November 28-29, 2018. The meeting involved the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey. They focused on the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib and efforts to establish a Syrian constitutional committee.