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Russia’s chief negotiator: Astana format gives hope for new level in negotiating process

The Russsian envoy has stressed that the final statement of Astana talks on Syria will be agreed on Tuesday

ASTANA, January 23. /TASS/. The current format of Astana meeting on Syria gives hope the talks will reach a qualitatively new level, Russian president’s special envoy on the Syrian settlement Alexander Lavrentyev, who leads the Russian delegation to the Astana talks, said on Monday. The Russian representative has added that the first day of Astana talks may be considered a success.  

"Although tensions were running rather high initially, the parties demonstrated a sensible approach, tried to eventually avoid some actions that could have derailed this very important event," he said.

"It will make it possible to reach a qualitatively new level in the negotiating process," he said. 

Russia has managed to overcome mistrust of the Syrian opposition delegation to the Astana talks and proved itself as a reliable partner, Lavrentyev added: 

"We felt certain mistrust at first but later the opposition delegation saw that Russia is a reliable partner that keeps his word." 

Damascus’ negotiators are demonstrating constructive approached at the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement:

"The Russian delegation had a meeting with the Syrian government delegation led by Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari. The meeting was very constructive," the Russian envoy said. "The Syrian side demonstrates a complete understanding and a very constructive approach."